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- 04/05/13--18:05: These 15 Tech Billionaires Are Spending Millions To Save The World
- 04/26/13--06:53: Why You Shouldn't Act Like The Billionaires You Respect
- 05/24/13--06:56: 'The Internship' Movie Is A Two-Hour Commercial For Google (GOOG)
- 06/12/13--18:25: What Interns Really See In Their First Week At Google
- 08/22/13--14:59: These Tech Billionaires Are Determined to Buy Their Way Out of Death
- 12/18/13--11:41: These 10 Billionaires Made The Most Money In 2013
With "Chrome" rims!
According to Search Engine Round Table, this was an April Fools' Day prank.
With great wealth comes great responsibility.
That's how we judge the tycoons of tech. While many of them spend their money on expensive luxuries, like cars, houses, planes — even islands — they are also expected to use their prosperity to do good works.
That's the implicit demand of the tech industry.
Some are astoundingly generous, giving tens of millions —even hundreds of millions — to their favorite causes. How much they give says a lot about them. Which causes they support does, too.
Larry Ellison: A cure for aging
Larry Ellison is known for his extravagant lifestyle filled with cars, airplanes, mansions, even a Hawaiian Island. But he's a big philanthropist, too, giving to his own Ellison Medical Foundation.
Ellison jokes about it: "We are focused on diseases related to aging—I mean, for obvious reasons." (He's 69.)
But it's no joke. He's trying to cure diseases like Alzheimer's and arthritis. And he's generous. The foundation awarded 70 new grants, giving away $46.5-million last year alone, reports Philanthropy.com
Bill Gates: Improving life everywhere, especially below the waist
Through a $3.3 billion donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Microsoft cofounder is trying to fix lots of the world's problems. He's eradicating polio, trying to end poverty, improving education.
But some of his causes are more fundamental. For instance he's working on better ways to dispose of poop. The foundation sponsored a "Reinvent the Toilet" fair with the winners picked by him.
He's also offering $100,000 to anyone who can make a condom people actually like to use.
Paul Allen: Replicating the human brain
Paul Allen, Microsoft's other billionaire cofounder, is also known for an extravagant lifestyle that includes owning multiple pro sports teams, massive collections, building music museums.
He's invested a half billion dollars into the Allen Institute for Brain Science. It will study how the brain works with a goal of curing diseases like Alzheimer's, an illness his mother suffered from. And ultimately, institute has another goal: to replicate the brain and build machines with human intelligence.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
It was like two galaxies colliding to create something beautiful when seen from light years away.
Larry Page was texting or doing something on his phone.
Barry Diller was disgusted: “Either choose me or the phone”.
Larry Page, without even lifting his head from his phone, said to the biggest media mogul in history, “I choose this”. Referring to his phone.
So Diller spent the rest of the meeting talking to Sergey Brin.
It’s very hard to get a job at Google. They are even making a movie out of the process.
They used to make movies about things like the Vietnam War. Or about preventing Mars from crashing into Earth. Or about a young blonde boy being chosen by a wizened hermit with psychic powers to save the galaxy against his father who wears a black helmet all the time.
Now they are making a movie about how hard it is to get a job at Google. “A sort of Hunger Games for nerds” as Vince Vaughn says in the trailer.
But in the early days, Sergey Brin would interview every candidate.
Like, on a date, you immediately know within five seconds whether you want to have sex eventually with the person you are on the date with.
Sergey Brin would know right away if he was interested in hiring the person.
If he wasn’t interested, he said, “I would try to spend the next hour trying to learn at least one thing from the person so that the meeting wasn’t a waste for me.”
From Story #1 I learn the most important rule of my life: don’t have meetings with someone you don’t want to have a meeting with.
Claudia said to me, sounds like Larry Page was just being rude.
I don’t know. I don’t want to judge. Who knows the dynamics of these billionaire meetings. Too complicated for me.
But you are what you eat. I don’t have meetings with people I don’t like. Ever. Else I can feel it somewhere in my body…I feel bad. Why feel bad? It’s my choice to feel bad or good. If I ate glue I’d probably feel sick. I won’t do that either.
Larry Page could’ve been busy kissing his wife instead of meeting with Barry Diller. Instead, he was probably texting his wife. He was probably texting, “I hate Barry Diller”.
Of course it’s nice that he’s so honest and blunt. Maybe I could learn that also. I feel I am pretty blunt but the way to avoid being rude is to not be blunt to people you don’t like. So it’s simple again: avoid people I don’t like. Larry Page doesn’t like Barry Diller.
So Lesson number one, don’t have meetings with people you don’t like. Life will be better for me if I’m sitting in a park thinking about nothing instead of having meetings with people I don’t like.
The second story is a little harder. Yes, it’s good to learn from everyone you meet.
But if I just hoard everything I learn, I might end up with a very big head.
I feel bad for these guys being interviewed. They are probably scared shitless. And here’s Sergey, already decided he’s going to pick some fact from their brain.
Like maybe the person Sergey is interviewing is an expert on whales.
No need for whale people at Google! But can I eat whale flesh? Does whale loin make a good sandwich? Are whale fats healthy for my testosterone?
Too many facts! I don’t need to know so much about whales.
I think Sergey’s rule should be to do the opposite of what he does.
Should I urn a rule on it’s head if it’s a rule coming from the most successful, the smartest, and perhaps the sexiest man on the planet?
I don’t know. I want to be a good person. I want to be free from worry.
People say, “are you the signal or the noise?”
I don’t need to be the signal or the noise.
So I make my own rules for me.
What if I try to GIVE to each person I meet, even if I know there will be no further contact. Even if I don’t learn anything.
Don’t do it in a creepy way. Like, “Here are some chocolates little boy!”
And you don’t want to be patronizing either. Like, “you should really be up on your Shakespeare, young man.”
But what if you really listen to the person, not to steal away his few morsels of knowledge but just to listen to him. Or just be kind. Maybe that’s the gift he needs.
I don’t know.
What can you do to give to everyone you meet? Or everyone you see. It’s hard! I’m going to try it.
[See, "Give and you Will Receive"]
I admit: I’m jealous of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. I want to play with my phone while saying, “I choose this” to Barry Diller. I want to make the world’s biggest website and cure cancer at the same time.
I want to be the cool guy on the subway with $18 billion and wearing the first wearable computing on the planet.
But maybe I also want to kiss instead of text. Be QUIET instead of MEET.
And feel like I have something to offer to everything around me, even in the smallest of ways. I want to exude abundance when I give to everyone I meet. I don’t need to take more facts.
That makes sense.
I’ll never have a job at Google. I’ll never be the master of the galaxy.
But I like having Sergey Brin and Larry Page as my reverse-mentors. Thank you very much.
[Follow me on Google+ please!]
Last night Google held a press meetup to cap off the first day of its big I/O developers conference. A lot of big Google execs showed up, including Sundar Pichai, the new guy in charge of Android.
But when Google co-founder Sergey Brin walked in the room, he was immediately surrounded by bloggers and other members of the tech press. Unfortunately, Brin was blocked off by a wall of reporters so we couldn't squeeze in for a chat.
Of course, most people were interested in Brin's Google Glass, the computerized headset Google is working on.
We snagged a few photos, but this is easily the best one. (You can also see Pichai in the foreground wearing a purple sweater.)
Brin had been working on Google Glass, but he says it's "basically done." So it's on to the next thing.
And here is his complete vision for how self-driving cars can improve our lives. We have to admit, it's pretty darn compelling:
Autonomous cars may seem like a gimmick, he begins, but when you consider all the time that people won’t be devoting to their rear view mirrors, and all the efficiencies that come from cars that could be zipping between errands rather than idling in parking lots, the world looks like a very different place. Car ownership would be unnecessary, because your car (maybe shared with your neighbors) will act like a taxi that’s summoned when needed. The elderly and the blind could be thoroughly integrated into society. Traffic deaths could be eradicated. Every person could gain lost hours back for working, reading, talking, or searching the Internet.
On June 7, a comedy about two 40-somethings becoming interns at Google hits theaters.
Liz Gannes of AllThingsD recently got a chance to attend a screening of the movie, "The Internship." Her take: "It's a two-hour commercial for Google."
"The Internship" is positive toward Google, but still feels authentic, Gannes said an interview with director Shawn Levy.
For example, Google either sent or verified and approved every computer screen and white board featured in the movie. Levy wanted the movie to be as accurate as possible, even in the small details.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin even has a couple of cameos. At one point, he's seen on an elliptical bike wearing "bizarre neon green slippers."
But Levy stressed to Gannes that they didn't pay Google, and Google didn't pay them.
"I've been very impressed with how much autonomy they've given us creatively," Levy said. "They were just really happy, because the movie was funny, and it had the spirit that they were hoping for."
Head on over to AllThingsD to check out Gannes's Q&A with director Shawn Levy.
Google's top three executives — Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt — are building their own $82 million airport in San Jose, California.
Bloomberg TV's Jon Erlichman went on site and shot a video of where the airport is being built.
It's currently a parking lot next to the San Jose airport. When it's done, the Google guys will have 29 acres for themselves and five hangars. One of the hangers will be large enough to house a Boeing 747, or 767.
Erlichman reports the three executive own about a dozen planes through a holding company called Blue City Holdings. To maintain each plane in a hangar at their airport costs $15-$20,000 per month.
Page and Brin are worth $23 billion apiece. Schmidt's net worth is estimated at $8.2 billion, so this isn't a huge amount of money for them.
Google has made a video that documents the first week at Google for five actual interns , in an attempt to portray the work experience accurately — and not the way it's seen in the movie "The Internship."
The Mountain View Google HQ is plenty quirky, filled with unique features such as an outdoor volleyball court, spherical work stations, and a campus filled with Android sculptures and other art.
Who knows, you might even run into someone like Sergey Brin.
While not as in-your-face-Google as the movie "The Internship," there are certainly similarities to the actual headquarters, such as the Noogle hats for newcomers.
Get ready for some team bonding — Google has lots of group activities to help interns acclimate.
Feeling restless at your desk? Google offers some unique work spaces such as these spheres for a more comfortable work environment.
You get to check out some of Google's experimental tech such as this massive six-monitor display, which appears to be running Google Earth.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
When you're worth billions, you can buy your way out of just about anything. Well, except for death of course.
Or maybe not.
In a quest to live infinitely, five financiers are heavily funding longevity research, a venture that has become more legitimate in the last 10 years despite the fact that the obsession with immortality is no fresh concept.
Adam Leith Gollner has just written “The Book of Immortality: The Science, Belief and Magic Behind Living Forever” and yesterday, Gollner wrote a piece for BookBeast detailing his findings on the bigshots who are determined to stretch their fame and live forever.
Take Larry Ellison for example. Ellison, CEO of Oracle and the fifth-richest person in the world with a net worth of $43 billion, hates death. The idea, he says in the book, that someone can "be there and just vanish, just not be there" doesn't resonate with him. So instead, he created The Ellison Foundation, dedicated to ending mortality, which gives out more than $40 million a year to fund research. Gollner notes that Ellison’s biographer Mark Wilson believes Ellison sees death as “just another kind of corporate opponent he can outfox.”
Then there's Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov. Itskov founded the 2045 Initiative with the goal of helping humans achieve physical immortality within the next three decades. According to Itskov, all we have to do is make the simple swap between our biological bodies and machine bodies as soon as possible. Our brains will be backed up in cyberspace and we’ll just download ourselves into bionic avatars whenever the mood strikes. Itskov believes we'll be "100% immortal" by 2045, but he doesn't suggest the idea that anyone would want to opt-out of becoming the equivalent of an iOS app.
Also featured is Google cofounder Sergey Brin, Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel (who is vehemently against higher education), and Santa Barbara-based venture capitalist and investor Paul Glenn, who made contributions to the Methuselah Foundation, whose cofounder Aubrey de Grey claims that “the first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today.”
Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife, 23andMe co-founder, Anne Wojcicki are living apart, reports AllThingsD's Liz Gannes.
They haven't filed for a legal separation or a divorce yet but "they have been living apart for several months. They remain good friends and partners," a spokesman for Brin and Wojcicki confirmed to Gannes. The couple has two children.
In addition to being married to Brin, Wojcicki is sister to one of Google's first employees, Susan Wojcicki, a senior vice president in charge of ads.
Anne Wojcicki famously met Brin because Susan was renting her garage to him and his fellow cofounder, Larry Page, as Google's first headquarters. Susan Wojcicki's husband, Dennis Troper, also works for Google. So there's a whole lot of Wojcicki's family at Google if Brin and Anne decide to call it quits.
Both Google and Brin also have invested in Anne's company, 23andMe. Her startup has raised $161 million total.
In 2008, Brin revealed that the work that 23andMe is doing, genetic testing with a particular study of Parkinson's disease, might have improved his health. Brin's mother has the illness and thanks to 23&Me, Brin found out early that he has a chance of getting it, too.
The two of them reportedly have a pre-nup, Gannes says, so if they split there would be no impact on Google. But in addition to 23andMe, they have other joint projects, like their $200 million Brin Wojcicki Foundation, which donates to a variety of causes. Thanks to the foundation, they were the fifth most generous philanthropists in 2012, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
We've reached out to Google for comment.
Android executive Hugo Barra is leaving Google.
Barra, formerly a VP of Android product, will join Xiaomi, which is often called the "Apple of China." Xiaomi phones run on Android. The company is called the Apple of China because it copies a lot of what Apple does. For instance, its keynote product launches are comically similar.
The reason for Barra's departure, however, is what everyone is speculating about.
AllThingsD broke the news of Barra leaving. The publication also said the departure followed a relationship Barra had with a co-worker at Google — a co-worker whom Google founder Sergey Brin, who recently separated from his wife, is now dating.
Sources close to the situation told AllThingsD that Barra recently tendered his resignation, but that it came before a recent thorny personal situation related to the end of a romantic relationship he had with another Googler.
That Googler is now seeing the company’s co-founder Sergey Brin, but sources said his decision to leave the company is unrelated and was made before he was aware of the new relationship.
AllThingsD is known for scoops about personnel moves in the tech industry. It rarely dives into people's personal lives. The fact that it's phrasing what's going on so awkwardly has many people thinking that there was some sort of love-triangle here.
Sergey Brin is married to Anne Wojcicki, but they recently separated, something that came to light yesterday around the same time as the Barra report. Both Brin and Google are investors in Wojcicki's startup, 23andMe. And Anne Wojcicki's sister, Susan, meanwhile, is very senior executive at Google, making an already sticky situation even more sensitive.
Google is in the news this morning for less-than-ideal reasons.
That same Googler who was dating Barra is now in a relationship with 40-year-old Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder who recently split with his wife of six years, Anne Wojcicki.
The Googler at the heart of all of this is Amanda Rosenberg, a five-year veteran at Google now working on Google Glass, according to a report from ValleyWag.
So who is she? She's a 26-year-old from England whose whole life appears to revolve around Google and Google Glass.
Google declined to comment on this story. We emailed Rosenberg, but got no response.
Her biggest claim to fame, prior to today, was that she came up with the phrase, "OK Glass" to activate Google Glass. She told the story of how she came up with the phrase on Google+.
She went to dinner with Glass product manager Mat Balez and his wife. She explains what happened next...
"In the car on the way back, Mat told me about how the team had been working on the 'hotword' for Glass. I must confess, I did not know what 'hotword' meant. Did I ask what it meant? No. Did I nod whilst looking pensive? You bet your glass I did. As I listened to Mat, I quickly* * * * deduced that he was referring to the phrase that sets off the Glass menu. He then asked me if I had any ideas for the hotword. In that moment the only phrase I could think of was ‘OK Glass’. I didn’t tell him straightaway though. Instead, I continued to look pensive and muttered something about ‘looking into it’ just to appear as though I was going to put more than 3 seconds of work into it.
When I got home, I tried my best to think of something else, anything else so that I could at least have a few options to send to Mat. Alas, I could not think of any others. I’ve been fortunately cursed with a one-track mind. So, I decided to put all my Glass eggs in one basket and send over a rationale for ‘OK Glass’ (below is the actual email I sent). A week later, it was implemented, at which point I asked Mat when I should start but apparently that’s ‘not really how it works’. I interviewed a week later and have been terrorising the Glass team ever since."
Rosenberg's LinkedIn profile says her title is "marketing manager" for Google Glass. Previously, she was an account manager, then managed mobile business development, then did marketing for Google+.
Rosenberg transferred to Google's offices in Mountain View from London in early 2012. She wrote a blog post on the experience:
"I'd been living a beautifully choreographed life in London for pretty much my entire life; family, friends, job, life. Done. Then one day I realized that yes, everyday was choreographed but, the beauty had faded and was now a bit...shit. So I applied for a transfer with my company to go work in a different country, in a different department, in a different role on a different product. Yes! The romance of a transfer! I’m going to be like one of those girls in the movies; I’ll glide into a new city and instantly meet some cool people in a ‘bar down town’. I’ll wear hats and start saying things like ‘My friend Cole was there last week, he said it was amazing apart from the food and atmosphere’ Oh, to be a person!"
This post is one of the rare personal stories she seems to have on the Internet, despite the fact that she uses just about every single social media service — Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Rosenberg is most active on Google+ where she likes to post selfies, photos of billboards, and advertising she thinks is interesting, as well as sandcastles and other random funny stuff that gets passed around through Reddit and Buzzfeed.
Her Google+ postings are overwhelmingly dominated by Google Glass-related content, and photos of, and from, her friends at Google.
Here's a fairly funny video she posted of all the reactions she's seen for Google Glass. If you pay close attention, at the 1:09 mark, she mocks Sergey Brin slightly. She says, "I think I saw a picture of a homeless man on the subway wearing these." That's a reference to this photo of Brin.
Anyway, this video is a pretty good idea of who she is, or at least, who she portrays herself to be online.
In this week's issue of People Magazine there's a story that's been making waves in the tech world: Google's co-founder Sergey Brin has been dating one of his colleagues, Amanda Rosenberg as All Things D reported last week.
Also in the issue is a picture of a woman wearing Google Glass and riding a bicycle, whom People Magazine identified as Rosenberg.
The one glaring problem? That's not a photo of Amanda Rosenberg.
Though the two women bear some resemblance in nationality, hair length, and of course, their propensity for Google Glass, the image in question seems to have been pulled from Splash, a site that stockpiles celebrity photos for a subscriber's fee.
This is the spread in People Magazine this week, which we first saw on Valleywag:
Thanks to Google's record-breaking stock price, which closed the day at $1,011.41, Google's co-founders found themselves worth $3 billion more Friday than Thursday.
CEO Larry Page ended the day up $3 billion, while director of special projects Sergey Brin is up $2.93 billion, according to Forbes Real Time Billionaire's index.
That's on top of a net worth of about $24.9 billion for Page and $24.4 billion for Brin, as of as of September.
Not a bad haul for the kings of search.
SEE ALSO: The 21 Hottest Cloud Startups Right Now
If you're like me, you've probably always assumed that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are pretty great at writing code.
You may have even assumed that Page and Brin wrote the code that made Google.com so fast and powerful as long ago as the late 1990s.
I've been reading early Googler Douglas Edwards' excellent book about the company's startup days.
It's called "I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59." You should buy it if startups fascinate you.
The book reveals that Page and Brin actually had little to do with making the code that powered Google back then.
In the book, early Google engineering boss Craig Silverstein says "I didn't trust Larry and Sergey as coders."
"I had to deal with their legacy code from the Stanford days and it had a lot of problems. They're research coders: more interested in writing code that works than code that's maintainable."
One Google engineer from back then says the most remarkable thing about the co-founders' code was that when it broke, users would see funny error message: "Whoa, horsey!"
It turns out the developers most responsible for building the Google.com that quickly became the Web's most powerful company are two guys you've probably never heard of.
The first is Urs Hözle. According to one early Googler quoted by Edwards, Hözle was "the key" to Google's early success.
Edwards writes, "Enough engineers sang his praises that this book could have been written entirely as a hagiography of Saint Urs, Keeper of the Blessed Code."
The second is Jeff Dean. Edwards writes that "Jeff pumped out elegant code like a champagne fountain at a wedding."
"It seemed to pour from him effortlessly in endless streams that flowed together to form sparkling programs that did remarkable things. He once wrote a two-hundred-thousand-line application to help the Centers for Disease Control manage specialized statistics for epidemiologists. It's still in use and garners more peer citations than any of the dozens of patented programs he has produced in a decade at Google. He wrote it as a summer intern in high school."
Hözle and Dean still work at Google. Dean is so highly regarded that Google employees still make flattering jokes about it.
Many familiar faces make an appearance on Wealth-X's list of the billionaires who made the most money this year.
Businessmen like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who have dominated wealth rankings for years, continued to add billions of dollars to their already sizable fortunes.
Here's the full list, ranked by billions made from January 1 to December 11, 2013:
10. Carl Icahn made $7.2 billion
The corporate raider had a big year after bets on Netflix and Herbalife yielded Icahn Capital Management $800 million and $500 million profits, respectively. He tweeted his thanks to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Kevin Spacey, star of the streaming service's hit show, "House of Cards."
9. Lui Chee Woo made $8.3 billion
The founder of Galaxy Entertainment Group became Asia's second-richest man in 2013 as gambling revenue grew at a record pace in Macau. Lui is looking to expand his flagship casino in the city's Cotai area, which is known by many as the Asian version of the Las Vegas Strip.
8. Larry Page made $9.3 billion
Google's co-founder and CEO made $3 billion in 24 hours when Google stocks hit an all-time high in October, breaking $1,000 for the first time. Android became the world's most popular operating system, running on 43% of the globe's smartphones.
7. Sergey Brin made $9.3 billion
Brin, Google co-founder and head of special projects with Google X, made $2.9 billion in the October stock surge. As of December 11, Brin is worth an estimated $30 billion, a 4.8% percent increase over the year.
6. Masayoshi Son made $10.3 billion
The founder of Softbank, Asia's top Internet and telecommunications corporation, lost $70 billion in the dotcom crash, but he's surging back in a big way. The purchase of Sprint and a large investment in Finnish game-maker Supercell are highlights in a year that saw Son's personal net worth more than double, growing from $8.8 billion to $19.1 billion.
5. Mark Zuckerberg made $10.5 billion
4. Jeff Bezos made $11.3 billion
The founder and CEO of Amazon, which made $17.1 billion in net sales in the third quarter, raised some eyebrows when he bought the Washington Post for $250 million this summer.
3. Sheldon Adelson made $11.4 billion
According to Wealth-X, the casino mogul's personal net worth grew to an estimated $35.3 billion this year thanks to profits from his gambling properties in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore.
2. Bill Gates made $11.5 billion
The world's wealthiest man ended the year with a personal net worth of $72.6 billion, up nearly 19% from $61.1 billion in 2012.
1. Warren Buffett made $12.7 billion
Berkshire Hathaway's CEO personally made about $37 million a day in 2013, a year that saw the company's acquisition of Heinz and Nevada's NV Energy.
SEE ALSO: Meet The World's Wealthiest Bachelors
The gist of the game show "To Tell The Truth" is a simple one — a notable (but still under-the-radar) person is joined by two people pretending to be that person as well. A panel asks them questions pertaining to their field and attempts to identify the real person.
In 2000, Google was turning two years old and was gaining notoriety as the go-to Internet search engine. Google co-founder Sergey Brin appeared on "To Tell The Truth" (alongside two liars!) to answer questions about the company.
This video clip is amazing. Watch Sergey field questions from the likes of Paula Poundstone and Dave Coulier. We won't spoil the ending for you.
Apple founder Steve Jobs and Google CEO Eric Schmidt appear to have secretly cooperated to drive down the salaries of tech workers by agreeing not to recruit each other's staff, according to emails uncovered by a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in California.
Pando Daily has an excellent deep dive on the suit, which has been going on for years.
What's most shocking about the emails is how unambiguous they appear to be, according to the ruling allowing the case to proceed. Jobs and Schmidt exchanged emails to ensure the pact was enforced, and Jobs threatened "war" if he caught Google breaking it by wooing Apple workers over to Google.
Apple, Google and the other companies named in the suit have been fighting the litigation, and many of the emails have been aired before. But the new ruling gathers the emails together in such a way that the scale of the alleged cartel — and the way it was supervised personally by tech's top executives — is breathtaking. Google has previously insisted that it aggressively pursues talent. Apple has mostly declined comment on the debate. The company did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
In early 2005, Jobs emailed Google founder Sergey Brin, threatening him to stay away from recruiting Apple's Safari web browser team:
if you [Brin] hire a single one of these people that means war.
Then in 2007, when Jobs learned that a Google recruiter had contacted an Apple employee, he forwarded the email to Schmidt with this message:
I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this.
The recruiter was fired an hour later, Pando reports.
In fact, as the agreement stretched over years, Apple supposedly had an internal "hands off list" and Google a "Do Not Cold Call" list that recruiters used to make sure that "war" did not break out between the companies.
Tech worker salaries in Silicon Valley quickly rise into the six-figure range. The suit, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, covers 100,000 tech workers and alleges their salaries were depressed by a total of $9 billion in the 2000s.
The suit alleges that Schmidt knew what he was doing was illegal, Pando reports:
Later that year, Schmidt instructed his Sr VP for Business Operation Shona Brown to keep the pact a secret and only share information “verbally, since I don’t want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?”
The suit covers these alleged secret agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe and is scheduled for trial in May.
If CEOs broke the pact, even accidentally, they were apparently subjected to one of Jobs' fits of rage. At one point, Jobs allegedly caught Adobe trying to pinch low-level Apple workers, and Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen told Jobs he thought the pact applied only to senior level staff:
I thought we agreed not to recruit any senior level employees…. I would propose we keep it that way. Open to discuss. It would be good to agree.
Here's Jobs' reply:
OK, I’ll tell our recruiters they are free to approach any Adobe employee who is not a Sr. Director or VP. Am I understanding your position correctly?
Chizen caved immediately:
I’d rather agree NOT to actively solicit any employee from either company ….. If you are in agreement, I will let my folks know.
Adobe instantly adopted the do-not-recruit policy.
What's galling about the emails is that they come from executives who, on any other day, praise the wonders of the free market, competition, and its ability to set fair prices. Yet in private, when it comes to their own companies, they avoid competing for staff and pursue policies that artificially distort the market to ensure that their most valuable assets — the people who actually create the products that generate Apple and Google's returns — get paid as little as possible.
The suit claims the movie studios Lucasfilm and the Jobs-run Pixar were part of the same cartel. The ruling describes why Lucas felt the need to stunt competition in the labor market, which went back as far as the 1980s:
George Lucas believed that companies should not compete against each other for employees, because ‘[i]t’s not normal industrial competitive situation.’ As George Lucas explained, ‘I always — the rule we had, or the rule that I put down for everybody,’ was that ‘we cannot get into a bidding war with other companies because we don’t have the margins for that sort of thing.’
Last August the normally stable world of Google was rocked by a salacious scandal involving its co-founder Sergey Brin.
Brin had left his wife and was having an affair with Google employee Amanda Rosenberg, who worked on marketing for Google Glass.
That would be quite enough to turn heads, but there was an extra level of intrigue. It turns out Rosenberg had been dating Hugo Barra, another high-level Google employee while she was having her affair with Brin.
And if that wasn't enough, there's also this: Brin's wife is Anne Wojcicki, who runs 23andMe, a genetics startup Google invested in. Anne's sister Susan works at Google and currently runs YouTube. When Google was a startup it ran out of Susan's garage, which is where Sergey met Anne.
The dust had largely settled on the story, but today Vanity Fair has published a fresh look at the whole story with new details and tons of reporting.
According to Vanity Fair, Anne was blindsided by the affair.
She had become friendly with Rosenberg, who was working on Google Glass with Brin. She even bought Rosenberg a present for Christmas since Rosenberg was spending time with the family. Shortly after that, Anne found some messages between Brin and Rosenberg that aroused her suspicions and said something to Rosenberg.
By April, Brin had moved out of his home into his own place.
News didn't break until August of Brin's affair. Despite the uproar, Rosenberg continued to work on Google Glass with Brin.
One source told Vanity Fair, "Larry is so ethically strict. . . . I heard Larry was insanely upset by this whole situation and wasn’t talking to Sergey ... At Google, some people were furious internally, especially women, that Sergey and Amanda were not [professionally] separated."
That is just one source.
The truth is that in Google, there's no formal ban on co-workers dating and it happens often.
The epilogue to the story isn't particularly pretty.
Anne's company has been under attack from the FDA. It doesn't think that people should be getting genetic information from a startup. She's dealing with that while trying to raise the children she had with Brin on her own.
Rosenberg still works at Google, and apparently is still with Brin, but she wrote a blog post confessing that she is dealing with depression.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin might be one of the biggest names in today's tech industry, but that wasn't always the case. Like many of us, his resume looked fairly plain back in the early 1990s.
The resume details some of Brin's earliest projects, including one titled "Movie Ratings," which sounds a lot like the recommendation engine built into today's entertainment apps such as Netflix.
According to Brin's description, you would rate the movies you've seen, and then the system would find other users with similar tastes who could suggest other films for you to watch.
But what's most interesting is the objective Brin has hidden in the documents' HTML coding. (You can view it by right-clicking the Web page and selecting "view source.")
Brin's career at Google more than delivered on that objective. Brin, who co-founded Google with Larry Page and currently leads the company's Special Projects division, is estimated to be worth $31.8 billion.
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