My Last Google Birthday

Posted by Simon Leung in Google, Occasions, Updates on July 28th, 2006 | No Comments

Over the last 4 years, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with an amazing group of friends at Google.

Yesterday, I celebrated my very last birthday as a Googler. As soon as I turned on my computer to start the work day, I was bombarded by Happy Birthday messages. Throughout the day, I had visitors to my office wishing me a Happy Birthday. A couple of my very close friends at work even got together to get me an Ipod Nano!

Later on in the afternoon, I was surprised yet again when I was scheduled for a meeting that turned out to be a full-blown birthday celebration with everyone on the Optimization Team, complete with fruitcake AND tiramisu!

In the evening though, the REAL party started! It was a birthday and bon voyage celebration in my honor. One of my very best friends whom I met on my very first week on the job at the AOL party in May 2002, actually HOSTED the party for me at his Monte Sereno ranch!

Complete with a full bar attended by a bartender and the musical sounds of a resident DJ, the party was a tremendous success!

Over 100 of my Google friends turned out to send me off with birthday and well wishes! Friends I’ve known since day one to ones I met up to the day before the event, those on my team as well as those I haven’t seen in several months, and local as well as those from southern California and even out of state were a part of this historic night, which undoubtedly marked the end of an epic era.

Needless to say, I am definitely overwhelmed by the friendship and support of my fellow Googlers. Some have been there for me since the beginning, many have been instrumental to my progress throughout the years, but without the support of each and every single one of them, I would not be where I am today.

When the announcement about my departure was made at the AdWords Team meeting, the room was filled with a very sentimental response. The director of the department, who also happened to be my manager at one time for almost 2 years, made the announcement. She did a great job summarizing my career as well as accomplishments, and it made me feel a great sense of achievement to know that I was able to contribute so much to the team.

And now, the time is almost upon us for me to finally move beyond the safe boundaries within the walls of Google and venture the road not yet taken.

It’s a dark and scary road ahead. But from a page taken out of “The Secret,” you can drive from New York to California in the dark. And even though your headlights only give you visibility to 100 feet or so ahead of you, all you need to do is believe that the road will take you to where you need to go, even though the destination is not yet in sight.

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