Five minutes with ... Google's Jim Lambe

Jim Donnelly
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Jim Lambe, Ottawa-based enterprise sales manager with Google Inc. (photo by Lois Siegel)

Company: Google Inc.

Position: Enterprise sales manager

Some of his former employers: Nortel Networks Corp., Digital Equipment, Kanatek Technologies, Kymata, Genoa, VERITAS Software

OBJ: You're one of just four Google employees in Ottawa. What’s your position all about?

LAMBE: The focus for myself and the team here is the federal government. We think there are a number of technologies we can bring to the federal government – such as Google Apps – that it can make use of. 

OBJ: What is with all those colourful exercise balls in Google offices?

LAMBE: The balls kind of go back to the genesis of the company. And I'd imagine they have something to do with the fact that we had more people than chairs at one point in time, so it's easier to sit on the exercise balls than on the floor. Some people do still use them – they're prevalent in every office, along with the lava lamps. Lava lamps are in every office, too.

OBJ: What is the one thing that you most enjoy about selling technology products?

LAMBE:  I love the fact that you're dealing with people on a daily basis. I've been in the business for over 22 years – when I started, the IBM typewriter was prevalent. My son has probably never seen a typewriter. And now we're at Google Earth and cloud computing, and when you look at where we're going to go in the next five to 10 years, it's extremely exciting.

OBJ: Google is known for encouraging innovation among employees. Have you seen evidence of that?

LAMBE: Definitely – innovation is inherent in the culture. We have a 20-per-cent rule, where every five days employees work on their own projects. Innovation is inherent in the culture.

OBJ: You've been in Ottawa for around 20 years, but originally you're from Newfoundland. Do you miss the Rock?

LAMBE:  Yes, I'm from St. John's, and yes, I love Ottawa but I do miss it. It's always a part of you. And I always say there are two types of people in the world – Newfies, and those who want to be Newfies.

Organizations: Google Inc., Nortel Networks, Digital Equipment IBM

Geographic location: Ottawa, Genoa, Newfoundland St. John's

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