Google Gets Brilliant

Google this week hired Dr. Larry Brilliant to lead the company's philanthropic arm, Google.org. Besides his work in public health (he helped eliminate smallpox in India), Brilliant has a technical background, having founded the early online community the Well and Wi-Fi company Cometa. This diversity should help set the direction for Google.org, a $1 billion charitable foundation.

Brilliant has the opportunity to push the unspoken corollary to Google's "Don't Be Evil" motto--"Be Good." While many have criticized Google's move to create a censored version of its search site in China, Brilliant's efforts with Google.org could at least help counterbalance the negativity resulting from such business moves.

Fast Company has long supported social capitalists, of course. But is the hiring of Brilliant purely good? Mostly PR? Or can it be both?

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7 Comments

  • ktruckor

    Through a little background digging it appears that this man holds a talent - that of which to create change regardless of his surroundings. It appears many of the previous postings hold superficial strikes against Dr. Brilliant. Someone who has played an integral role in the eradication of small pox I would think would demand a certain level of respect. Rest assured the ideology of those who fail to act subsequently criticize lives on. Whether he is thr right person or not, I will not condemn someone or something for trying to create change for the better.

  • betti sands

    Will he be able to get past his interest in Health to expand into actual long term global challenges .. helping emerging countries transform themselves into the kinds of socieites that focus on the need of their people - to resolve their own internal pathologies..

  • Gene Wiley

    What a Joke. The guy is a fraud. He ran 3 companies

    NETI
    SOFTNET
    COMETA

    into the ground and the losses are in the billions.

    The guy is nothing but a fraud. Can't believe you fools have been had. What a bunch of gullible rubes you are. What fools you are all.

    Brilliant (not even his real name).

    Do some checking and then see how Brilliant it is.

    gb

  • Blaze

    Smart move google. It's something they needed to do to keep on top of the their public image.