Augment Logo


Ann Hiatt: Google's First Chief of Staff

Theo Moret

18 Apr, 2024

3 min read

With a career that intertwines with giants like Google's Eric Schmidt and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Ann Hiatt represents the pinnacle of executive business acumen. As Google's first Chief of Staff, she showcased the potency of ambition and the value of initial business training.

Meet Ann Hiatt, Google's First Chief of Staff

Ann Hiatt's professional trajectory reflects her ambition, learning, and innovation, highlighted by experiences working alongside some of the most iconic CEOs of our time. From Jeff Bezos to Eric Schmidt, Hiatt has been at the epicenter of forward-thinking leadership, making her a Silicon Valley veteran with valuable lessons to share.

A Brief Timeline of Ann's Career

Ann's career is marked by significant milestones and transformative roles. With a knack for strategic leadership and collaboration, she's aligned herself with some of Silicon Valley's brightest minds.

  • 2002 - 2005: Executive Business Partner to CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos. In her initial business training at Amazon, Ann served as an executive business partner to the visionary Jeff Bezos. From coordinating teams to managing large-scale events, her role was dynamic and diverse. She credits this period for teaching her to think and operate with the same vigor and vision as Bezos.
  • 2006 - 2009: Executive Business Partner to VP Search Products & UX, Marissa Mayer. Hiatt’s transition to Google began with a role in product management. Here, she not only coordinated launch cycles but also managed an international team, learning the ins and outs of motivating and ensuring top-tier results.
  • 2009 - 2018: Chief of Staff to Google's CEO/Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt. A defining era in her career, Hiatt became Google’s first Chief of Staff under the leadership of Eric Schmidt. Her role was transformative, creating new operational standards within the C-Suite that are now industry benchmarks.

Strategic Milestones in Ann's Career

Ann's career is punctuated by strategic decisions and mentorship under tech titans, influencing her professional growth and leadership style.

  • Ann's philosophy has always been to prioritize who you work with. In her book "Bet on Yourself," she emphasizes the importance of aligning yourself with leaders who mirror the path and qualities you aspire to.
  • Jeff Bezos wasn't just a boss, but a mentor. Under his leadership, she learned to anticipate, plan, and execute in line with his vision, offering her a profound understanding of the business world.
  • Her next career steps were inspired by a question: "What do I want to learn in the next phase of my career?" This forward-thinking perspective kept her from settling into roles of comfort and pushed her to chase growth opportunities.
  • Beyond her roles in companies, Ann now provides consultancy, revealing her expertise to CEOs and helping them scale their businesses.
Ann Hiatt teaching her Augment class.

3 Highlights from Ann's Augment Class

  1. On Running Effective Meetings: "One of the most effective ways that you can accelerate your decision-making is to come to the meeting prepared. Whether you are the final decision maker or an individual contributor, come with some homework done, gather the data, be very thoughtful on your argument, and be ready for some anticipated questions. This will not only accelerate your decision-making but also your career."
  2. On Imposter Syndrome: "So when you experience these moments of doubt, when you feel imposter syndrome coming up, recognize that that is actually an indication that you're moving yourself outside of your comfort zone. [...] If I'm spending 80% of my time in my zone of genius and 20% of my time just outside of it, [...] that 20% moves you forward and accelerates your impact, and eventually feeds into your 80%."
  3. On Sponsors and Mentors: "Surround yourself with the people who are going to the places that you want to go, who will lend a helping hand, who can be the sponsors and mentors that you need to qualify yourself to enter the rooms that you haven't yet entered."
Book a call with our Program Director

Book a 15-minute call with our Program Director to discuss your goals and what the Augment MBA has to offer.
Book a free call