David Peterson
(1956 – 2023)

Legendary leader of Google’s coaching and executive team.


Inducted into the Thinkers50 Coaching Legends in 2023.


Selected as the #1 Corporate Coach in the World, 2021 (coaching.com).


Received a Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to the field of executive coaching (coaching.com).


As head of Google’s Coaching & Executive Leadership team, David helped the company address emergent and disruptive leadership challenges. Known for being on the cutting edge of the coaching profession, David challenged conventional wisdom and constantly explored provocative and compelling new ideas to help coaches and leaders have greater impact. David’s awards included the RHR International Award for Excellence in Consultation (Society of Consulting Psychology), the Outstanding Achievement Award (California Psychological Association), the Vision of Excellence Award (Harvard Institute of Coaching), and a lifetime achievement award from Coaching at Work.


A primary influencer in the field of executive coaching, David led Google’s executive coaching and leadership team for 10 years, where he built one of the world’s most innovative and high-impact coaching programs. Before joining Google, he served as leader for world-wide coaching services for PDI Ninth House (now Korn Ferry). David was also the co-founder and chief transformation officer at 7 Paths Forward LLC, where he helped seasoned executive coaches develop new mindsets and advanced coaching capabilities. David earned his PhD in counselling and industrial/organizational psychology at the University of Minnesota. He was a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Consulting Psychology, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and the Harvard Institute of Coaching.


Handbook of the Psychology of Coaching and Mentoring (with Jonathan Passmore and Teresa Freire, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); Leader As Coach: Strategies for Coaching and Developing Others (with Mary Hicks, Atlantic Books, 1996); Development First: Strategies for Self-Development (with Mary Hicks, Atlantic Books, 1995).


Media picks


“Constantly challenging and thought provoking, David was integral to the success of Google and his impact on the field of executive coaching continues to resonate.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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