As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Google’s Consumer Hardware business, Ana Corrales begins every day with a meticulously curated calendar of meetings to attend with her team, but she knows the importance of flexibility and a willingness to adapt. “In my typical day, I am 100 percent sure things will never happen the way they are scheduled,” Corrales said in a recent interview. “I am not exaggerating, I don’t think there’s been a day in three years when it went as planned!”
On the other hand, it seems like there has always been a plan for Corrales to succeed. Growing up in Costa Rica, her father was an engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor in the energy industry. Her mother earned a doctorate in botany and served as the Dean of La Universidad de Costa Rica and the Minister of Science and Technology. From an early age, Corrales was encouraged to follow her intellectual interests and to "use my skills to contribute to the world in some way."
Responding to the challenge, she sold her first business as a teenager. A member of the National Young Entrepreneurs Program, she helped build a hair scrunchie business that was later sold to a Costa Rica-based grocery store chain. After high school, she left her country to study in the U.S., where she earned a bachelor's in economics from the University of Washington before receiving her master's in engineering economic systems from Stanford.
Corrales didn't waste any time making her mark in the business world either. An inventor at heart, she devised and patented a new method for storing solar energy, co-founded the startup SunModular, and later brokered the company’s sale to Nanosolar in 2010.
For 18 years Corrales called Cisco home. There, through its Latino resource program Conexión, she became a role model for minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Then, in 2015, Corrales joined Nest, a pioneer in smart-home technology and the internet of things (IoT), where she oversaw finance and operations. Nest was eventually acquired by Alphabet, which led to Corrales assuming her current C-suite position.
As COO, she is responsible for bringing Google’s consumer hardware products to life, including Pixel smartphones, the new Nest Hub Max, and the Pixelbook, among other devices. She also drives the end-to-end IT efforts and customer experience work across the Google Hardware business, putting her in charge of a team that is comprised of thousands of people all over the globe.
Recognized in the industry as a seasoned leader who can successfully grow startup businesses into multi-billion dollar companies, Corrales has landed on numerous lists for top executives, including the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Business, one of the most powerful Latinas by the Association of Latino Professionals For America, and a top executive by the Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council.