PROFILE: James Elias - Head of Business Marketing, Google UK
marketing, GoogleThe first thing that strikes me about James Elias is his age. At 31, he appears relatively young to be heading up the business marketing team at one of the world's most high profile brands. But what he lacks in age Elias makes up for in experience; before joining the search marketing giant he spent seven years helping to build a name for US brand E-Trade in the UK, and immediately before joining Google had also managed to squeeze in a trip to France to gain an MBA.
On the face of it, it's not surprising Elias is such a spring chicken. Google is renowned for being a young, funky company to work for, which becomes apparent as soon as you set foot on any of the three floors that form its London HQ. The vast, open plan work spaces are dotted with traditional red telephone boxes (so staff can make free calls); camping tents (Elias says he hasn't yet worked out why they are there), and mini kitchens, themselves the size of small offices, stocked with free food and drinks. There is also a games room, an immense office canteen (again, stocking free meals) and even a massage service, which judging by the fact some two dozen employees are taking advantage of it as we head past at 10am, is testament to the relaxed environment that Google prides itself on. The first question to Elias has to be; do employees ever leave the premises?
We all work long hours here, but that's because people are excited about what they're doing, he says. It's fun working in this type of environment, very relaxed. E-Trade had the same vibe young and full of energy, although its offices were nowhere near as grand.