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Google hires former Wall Street analyst

Google said Thursday that it has hired Lise Buyer, former technology research director at investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston, in a fresh sign of a potential public offering from the search darling. Google's popularity has fed persistent speculation that the company, founded in 1998, is ripe for an initial public offering.

Top executives at the Mountain View, Calif.-based company have said that there is no rush to take Google public, but Buyer could help when and if so. Known for her stock-picking and equity research prowess before and during the dot-com boom, Buyer was named Google's director of business optimization, in charge of working with "teams across the company to ensure that we're optimizing all aspects of the business," according to a company representative. Before joining Google, Buyer was a partner at Technology Partners, a venture capitalist firm in Palo Alto, Calif.