Ex-Google exec rues Larry Page social media regime

A former Google executive went public on Tuesday with a lament that the Internet star has become obsessed with advertising and seizing the online social networking crown from Facebook

By - March 14, 2012
Google logo

A former Google executive went public on Tuesday with a lament that the Internet star has become obsessed with advertising and seizing the online social networking crown from Facebook.

James Whittaker left Microsoft in 2009 for a high-level software engineering job at Google only to recently jump back to the California-based firm’s rival.

In a personal blog post he explained why he left what is considered one of the world’s most desirable workplaces.

“The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate,” Whittaker said.

“The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

That focus was to conquer the online social networking realm where Facebook rules and Google stumbled with offerings such as Buzz and Wave, according to Whittaker.

Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong,” he said, referring to the Google co-founder who took over as chief executive last year.

“Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+,” he continued.

Emphasis was put on synching Google+ social network with the company’s popular services such as search and online video venue YouTube.

“Like the proverbial hare confident enough in its lead to risk a brief nap, Google awoke from its social dreaming to find its front runner status in ads threatened,” Whittaker said.

Google shut down its Labs initiative to support experimental projects and soured on a policy that lets employees spend 20 percent of their time on ideas unrelated to their usual jobs, according to the former ‘Googler.’

“As the trappings of entrepreneurship were dismantled, derisive talk of the ‘old Google’ and its feeble attempts at competing with Facebook surfaced to justify a ‘new Google’ that promised ‘more wood behind fewer arrows’.”

Whittaker told of working on Google+ but seeing the social network make little headway against Facebook.

“As it turned out, sharing was not broken,” he said. “Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t a part of it.”

“Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation,” Whittaker continued. “The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.”

Google decline to comment for this story.

Forum discussion

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – more technology images

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Do you think the salaries CEOs in South Africa are too high?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Prasa’s head “engineer” charged with fraud

Prasa rail train

Prasa’s head of engineering services Daniel Mthimkhulu appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s court on Wednesday on a charge of fraud.

Slow ADSL speeds: what you can do about it

ADSL Modem

If your ADSL link is synchronising at lower speeds than it should or dropping intermittently, this is what you should look at.

Naspers must pay for its role in apartheid

Naspers on demand

A support group for victims of apartheid on Tuesday called on Media24 and Naspers to create a fund for victims of gross human rights violations after the media company apologised for its role in apartheid on Saturday.

Eskom load shedding hits SA food production

Eskom Logo

Load shedding is having a severe financial impact on South African food production, according to an expert at energy efficiency firm Energy Partners.

X

Newsletter Subscription


Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyBroadband Newsletter
Subscribe
X