While Google was revolutionizing web search and advertising, the company also changed conventional wisdom about human resources by empowering its employees and taking a rigorously data-driven approach to decision making. Laszlo Bock ’99, the longtime head of “people operations” at the company and the author of Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google that Will Transform How You Live and Lead, joins us for an interactive discussion about what you can learn from Google’s systems for hiring, managing, and compensating employees.
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Laszlo Bock '99
Advisor, author, and former SVP of People Operations, Google/Alphabet
Laszlo is an advisor and best-selling author. He partners with founders and leadership teams of organizations experiencing hyper-growth on how to scale, lead, and build amazing cultures. His New York Times bestselling book, WORK RULES! Insights...
Laszlo is an advisor and best-selling author. He partners with founders and leadership teams of organizations experiencing hyper-growth on how to scale, lead, and build amazing cultures. His New York Times bestselling book, WORK RULES! Insights from Inside Google to Transform How You Live and Lead, has been published in more than 20 languages and garnered numerous “book of the year” honors. From 2006 to 2016, Laszlo was Senior Vice President of People Operations and a member of Google’s management team. Over that decade, he partnered closely with Google’s three CEOs – Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sundar Pichai – growing the company from ~6,000 to ~75,000 employees and ensuring the firm’s culture remained innovative and robust. He was responsible for setting the agenda and management of the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee, working with John Doerr, Ram Shriram, and Paul Otellini. Laszlo is credited with creating the field of “People Analytics”, the application of academic-quality rigor and Google-paced innovation to people management. Public examples of this work include Project Oxygen, an effort that dramatically improved manager quality at Google; Project Aristotle, which unlocked the five factors essential to exceptional team performance; and the creation of an Unconscious Bias program, which has transformed the state of diversity inside the company. He also led “Project Garage”, a product with the goal of solving unemployment by better matching people and jobs through applied machine learning and people analytics. Garage’s initial launch was as the Google Job Search API, encompassing tens of millions of open jobs, 250,000 unique professions, and 50,000 skill types. During his tenure, Google was recognized over 150 times around the world as an exceptional employer, including being named the #1 Best Company to Work for in the United States seven times and every year since 2012; the most desirable employer for undergraduates, college graduates, and MBAs in numerous countries; the #1 Top Diversity Employer overall; the best company for women in technology; and honors such as a perfect score from The Human Rights Campaign and Corporation of the Year from The United Negro College Fund. Google receives over 3,000,000 job applications each year. He joined Google from the General Electric Company, where he held various executive leadership roles within GE Capital. Before GE, Laszlo was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, serving clients in the technology, private equity, and media industries on a wide range of strategic and operational issues, including growth and turnaround strategy. Earlier, he had worked at another consulting firm, a start-up, as an actor, and co-founded a non-profit organization working with at-risk youth. Laszlo is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources. He has served on the Boards of Pomona College, Evolv (acquired by Cornerstone), and Agilone and acted as a judge for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change program. He currently serves on the Aspen Institute’s National Commission for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. Laszlo has testified before Congress on immigration reform and labor issues and is a sought-after expert in the media, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other publications, and on the Today Show, CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose, and PBS. In 2010 he was named “Human Resources Executive of the Year” and in 2015 the “HR Professional of the Decade.” He (briefly) co-held the world record for Greek Syrtaki dance along with 1,671 others and was (even more briefly) ranked #1 in the world in the video game Assassin’s Creed. Laszlo earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from Pomona College, graduating in three years, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. His first book, WORK RULES! Insights from Inside Google to Transform How You Live and Lead, has been published in more than 20 languages and was named among the Best Business Books of the Year (The Economist), Top 10 Creative Leadership Books of the Year (Forbes), Top 10 Business Books of the Year (Amazon.com) and #1 Best Translated Book in Japan (Association of Japanese Publishers and Editors).