Google has hired a highly-placed former Pixar executive to its board of directors.

Corporate finance specialist Ann Mather is the former executive vice president and chief financial officer for Pixar Animation Studios, where she worked until 2004. She joined Google's board of directors on November 22 and also will chair Google's audit committee.

At Pixar, and presumably in communication with Apple and Pixar CEO Steve Jobs, Mather looked after finance, administration, business affairs, investor relations and human resources.

She also served as Pixar's main contact with The Walt Disney Co. for distribution matters related to the two companies' co-production agreement.

Mather is currently on the board of directors of Central European Media Enterprises, which, along with partners, operates ten television stations in six countries in Central and Eastern Europe. She also serves on its audit and compensation committees.

She was a director from May 2004 until that company was acquired by eBay in 2005. She chaired's audit committee and belonged to its corporate governance and nominating committee.

With Disney in the 1990s, Mather held various executive jobs, including senior vice president of finance and administration for the company's Buena Vista International Theatrical Division. Mather also worked for Paramount Pictures in the 1980s in London, Amsterdam and New York.

Financial analyst Philip Remek described the move as "consistent with Google's yet unrealised intention to diversify its revenue stream".

"The display or branded advertising market is more of a media-oriented area," Remek said. "[For that reason] it makes sense for Google to add more media industry people to its executive ranks and to the board. It underlines its intent to diversify its business more like a Yahoo model."