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Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 08:28 GMT
Whispering can be good for business
Kate Burns, Google head of Advertising sales UK
Kate believes shut up and listen is good advice
Kate Burns made Google history in 2001 when she became its first employee outside the US.

She was hired as head of Google UK to set up a British sales office and to draw in companies to advertise on the site. She is now managing director of advertising sales in the UK.

Her sales background includes a stint as pan-European sales director at Altavista.

Although she could cash in her share options and retire - following the stock market flotation of Google - she is still keen to keep the company growing.

What was your first car?

It was a T-reg Fiesta, and a total death trap.

I had my eye on an Astra GTE convertible, or second hand Capri, both of which were beyond my 200 budget.

What was your first job?

I was a trainee waitress at the Little Chef. I think I was on about 8,000 a year.

What was your first house?

A beautiful cottage near Eton, that was under 100,000.

What's the best bit of business advice you've had?

It's the network of people you surround yourself with that make you successful, so shut up and listen to them.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Monty Roberts, also known as The Horse Whisperer.

His philosophy regarding horses and all animals can be easily adopted as a way of life for all people - in business or otherwise.

His methods involve subtle communication, understanding and patience.

The way he has totally changed the way an institution has approached training animals and humans is completely unique and inspirational.

What's the biggest challenge facing business now?

For us it is managing and sustaining our growth as well as finding exceptional people.

What can the government do to boost business?

In our case, it needs to truly understand our medium before imposing regulations that will restrict growth.

What business story has grabbed your interest recently?

Obviously, President George W Bush's election; the positive potential effect it will have on the "super rich" in the US and also the stock market's reaction.

Leaning towards his rival presidential candidate John Kerry meant I was intrigued, to say the least, how the US public eventually supported Bush and how their economy has positively reacted to the outcome.

What was the proudest moment of your career?

It was presenting UK best practice to around 700 employees of Doubleclick about five years ago.

That was the first time the US team sat back and listened to what we had to say, and it blew them away.

Also moving to our new Google premises last October and seeing our impressive team, which had grown from three to just under 100 in three years.

Google logo

Google was set up by students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998.

When the search website floated on the technology led Nasdaq stock exchange in August it became the third largest initial public offering in the market's history following a surge in the Google share price to more than $100 from its debut price of $85.

In its first earnings report since floating on the stock market, published in October, the firm said net profit was $52m (28.4m) in the three months ending 30 September.


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