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More Changes at Google

February 24, 2009

logo_tiny1Several weeks ago, I posted about changes in direction announced at Google.org (Google’s philanthropic arm) by Sonal Shah.  Google.org was set up not as a traditional philanthropy, but rather as a Google unit that could profit from its investments. Yesterday, the organization announced further changes. 

Larry Brilliant, the executive director of Google.org, said late Monday that he would step down from managing Google’s philanthropic unit and signaled that Google.org might curtail its financing of nonprofit groups unless they are closely aligned with Google projects.  Instead, Dr. Brilliant said he would become chief philanthropy evangelist for Google, seeking partnerships and collaborators for Google’s efforts.  Megan Smith, a longtime Google executive with experience in engineering and business development, will manage Google.org, while retaining her job as vice president for new business development at Google.   According to an article in the New York Times, Brilliant reiterated that  “[Google] stand[s] behind the commitment made in 2004 to devote 1 percent of Google’s equity and profits to philanthropy, and we will continue to iterate on our philanthropic model to make sure our resources have the greatest possible impact for good.”

Additional articles about this change can be found here and here.

As of yet, there is no mention of the role that Sonal Shah might play in the new structure.  What are your thoughts about Google.org’s new directions?

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