An immigrant's life is always marked by a fundamental tension, longing for the familiar while also embracing the new. Born in Tehran, Iran, Omid Kordestani grew up speaking both Farsi and English and attended an Italian Catholic school. At age 14, he immigrated with his family to San José. With such an international background, Kordestani learned to be the quintessential diplomat, finding a way to bridge cultural differences and thrive in any environment.
As a high school student, Kordestani took an ethics course in philosophy at San José State and immediately liked the environment, especially because the university offered him a strong educational foundation. Recruited by Hewlett-Packard after graduation, Kordestani began to realize that his engineering degree could be used in ways that he had not anticipated. As a result, he returned to school and obtained his M.B.A. from Stanford.
After working for several startup companies, including Netscape, Kordestani joined Google in 1999 and is well known in the high-tech industry for developing the business model that capitalized on the powerful, new internet search engine. For Kordestani, precision and trust are crucial in his work.
Data collection and analysis must be exact; and in his relationship with his customers, employees, and partners, it is all about delivering on his promises, adding value to the organization.
For one who has such a diverse range of experiences, having an open mind is important. From the rap artist Eminem to the Italian opera composer Puccini, Kordestani's eclectic taste in music reflects his ability to appreciate seemingly disparate things and take full advantage of all that the world has to offer. In the twenty-first century, a true "citizen of the world" has to be an innovator like Kordestani, who can build bridges and form alliances where none existed before.