Another Iranian-American success story is Bay Area tech billionaire Omid Kordestani, who was announced today (Oct. 14, 2015) as the new Executive Chairman of Twitter.
Kordestani, formerly Google’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development, was born in Tehran in 1963. An electrical engineering major, Kordestani joined Google as its 11th employee in 1999, and is credited with helping generate billions of dollars in revenue for the company.
In 2006 Kordestani was named by TIME magazine as one of the "100 People Who Shape Our World"; and in Sept. 2007, Forbes ranked him #204 in its Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, with a net worth of $2.2 billion.
Like most Iranian Americans living in the U.S. after the revolution, Kordestani experienced prejudice while growing up in California, and is clearly cognizant of the cultural misunderstanding which prevails even today. “After 9/11, the whole region was painted with the same brush,” Kordestani told Bob Cooper of the San Francisco Chronicle in July 2007. “Americans need to understand that Iran is not an Arabic country and Iran is not Iraq.”
Kordestani, who is one of the founders of PARSA Community Foundation, a Persian heritage, entrepreneurship and philanthropic society, also emphasizes the need to enlighten others about the history of U.S.-Iran relations, as in this excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle piece:
U.S. falling in ‘quicksand’ with Shah, the Iranian Student Association says — SJSU (1976)
TV Host Anthony Bourdain Left Certain “Parts Unknown” in Iran
Actor / Director Ben Affleck on Mossadegh, the Shah, and U.S. - Iran Relations
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”