Larry Page and Sergey Brin – the under-40 co-founders of Google, have agreed to sell $5.5 Billion in stock over the next 5 years. They currently hold a combined 59% of shares which gives them a controlling interest of the company. They can essentially do whatever they want. But not for long.
After the sale of the $5.5 Billion they’ll no longer have controlling interest. Guess how much they’ll have left? That’s the crazy thing…. even $5.5 Billion later they’ll have 48% ownership of the company. Plus Eric Schmidt’s 10% and the trio can still do pretty much whatever they want.
The initial purpose of keeping controlling interest was to ensure the company sticks to their “Don’t Be Evil” mantra. This isn’t an Android-only story, but I think it’s important to keep perspective on Google as a whole. This could CERTAINLY affect the future of Android. The “open source” movement tends to have a much different outlook on how business should work than a company focused on corporate profit and pleasing stock holders.
But in all honesty, 48% is a pretty huge percentage and unless they have some bizarre self-destructing POV, one would think 2% of the remaining stock-holding population would agree with whatever ideas they’re trying to push. By the way, they’ll sell the stock over a 5 year period in order for GOOG to maintain stability in the stock market.
[Via Associated Press]