Google has announced that its chief financial officer George Reyes is set to retire.

The search engine posted an official statement yesterday that confirmed Mr Reyes had informed the company of his intentions and is expected to leave the company by the end of the year.

It is thought that he first wants to oversee a smooth handover of his position in what is hoped to be an "orderly transition".

Google chairman and chief executive officer Eric Schmidt said that although the company fully accepts his decision to leave he would be sorely missed.

Mr Reyes stated that his past five-and-a-half years at Google had been an "extraordinary ride" and said the company’s future remained bright.

"I’m honoured and flattered to have been a part of this great management team. I know I’m leaving the company in good hands with a remarkable team of professionals that will continue to build on Google’s tremendous achievements," he said.

In March 2006, MarketWatch said that Mr Reyes was arguably the company’s most valuable man when it comes to critical information on what is otherwise a tightlipped company.

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