Totzkeeeeee's Blog

Just because I can...

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Why does this not surprise me?  I should be but I'm not. 

  • a dual-class capital structure that gives effective control to insiders
  • too few outside directors
  • lack of stock ownership guidelines for executives and independent directors
  • a compensation plan that lets the company reprice stock options if the stock price falls  (I know some post-DotComBomb folks that would love that one)
  • loans to company insiders
  • 23.2 million shares it may have issued illegally
  • the company’s general counsel facing the possibility of civil remedies being sought by the SEC for securities law violations related to his prior job
  • Google's founders, Larry and Sergey, may have violated the pre-IPO cone-of-silence in - of all places - a Playboy interview

All of this added together is what promted the influential proxy adviser, Institutional Shareholder Services, to give Google a rating for corporate governance of 0.2 out of a possible 100.  I'll repeat that.  ONE FIFTH OF ONE PERCENT.  A couple of reasonably intelligent eighth-graders could do better than that.

I'm beginning to think the hype around the evil that is GMail was just to distract everybody from taking a really good look at the company.  “Hey, they gave us a Gig of space for FREE!  How can they be bad?  Besides, their motto is: Don't be Evil.“

Not to worry.  With the 29 Billion dollars in market capitalization Larry and Sergey now have, I'm sure they can make these little annoyances go away.

One last thought before I go.  Google is really, really good at finding stuff.  It stands to reason that if you are really, really good at finding things, you're probably very adept at hiding things you don't want to be found.  Things like off-shore accounts...

Just because I can...


posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 6:46 PM


# RE: Google's Corporate Governance - At least they make a great search engine... 8/23/2004 8:36 PM (Don Newman)
Perhaps all they need to do is suppress results for things like "Google Corruption" and nobody will go any further to look for it. If you google it with no result, what more investigation do you need?

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