Skip to main content

Google CEO wanted political donation info wiped

A whistle-blowing book written by a Google insider will blow the lid on murky shenanigans within the search engine virtual monopoly.

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives, which hits US shelves on April 12th, was written by tech hack Steven Levy who spent three years "reporting inside the company" according to the New York Times (opens in new tab).

The book charts the history of the world's biggest Internet outfit from search engine wannabe to global mega-corporation and concentrates heavily on Google's often-strained relationship with China.

Recent spats between the company and the communist regime have seen Google openly accuse the Beijing government of hacking Google accounts, allegations which have led to most of Google's far east operations finding a new home in the relatively safe haven of Hong Kong.

But Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page first started getting up the nose of Chinese politicos when they first visited the country back in 2004. At the time, according to the book, the soon-to-be-billionaires were warned that of they behaved like backpackers, as they had done on a previous trip to India, they would be perceived as arrogant.

Eric Schmidt, who steps down as Google's CEO today, once asked fellow execs to remove information about a political donation he had made, thought to be in support of Barak Obama's Democratic Party election campaign, from Google's search engine results. The request was turned down as unacceptable by Google exec Sheryl Sandberg who moved on to Social notworking behemoth Facebook soon after.

Schmidt, who had the role of "responsible adult" in Google's upper echelons for the past decade, will step aside into the role of executive chairman to allow co-founder Larry Page to become the company's chief executive.

"I believe Larry is ready. His ideas are very interesting and clever and it’s time for him to have a shot at running this," Schmidt said recently. “I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better! Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead.”

The reshuffle is widely thought to be cosmetic rather than structural with Schmidt suggesting that not too much would change in the way the company operates from day to day, remarking: "We pretty much tend to agree on everything."

Google has contacted us since this article was published saying, "Eric has absolutely no recollection of this incident." monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.