Google’s parent company Alphabet just revealed that it paid $380 million to buy a stealth startup called Bebop Technologies founded by Google board member Diane Greene. Her take was 200,729 shares of Alphabet Class C stock at $740.39 each.
That’s a cool $148.6 million, a sizeable haul for Greene. However, Alphabet says that Greene is not keeping the cash. She intends to donate the money to charity, via a “donor advised fund.”
While we understand that Bebop Technologies was working on some cool stuff (something in the cloud computing software area), this was more-or-less an acqui-hire. And given the circumstances — buying a board member’s company for a large sum of money — the fact that she’s donating the proceeds to charity seems like a good alternative to some obvious conflict-of-interest issues.
Her husband, famous Stanford professor, Mendel Rosenblum, was also a founder of Bebop who is working part time at Google. The SEC form doesn’t mention if his payout was included in Greene’s or was paid out separately. (We’ve reached out to Alphabet and asked.)
After Google’s Alphabet bought Bebop, Greene agreed to head Google’s cloud-computing business. Nabbing Greene for this role is something of a coup for Google.
Greene is one of the monarchs of Silicon Valley. She founded VMware with Rosenblum and a few others in the late 1990s. She led the company as its first CEO through a meteoric rise during the early 2000s and a $635 million sale to EMC and famously left the CEO role after EMC took over.
She’s a seasoned enterprise software veteran who knows how to sell services to big companies.
That kind of enterprise know-how is what Google really needs. Market leader Amazon has spent years developing its cloud business and has only in the past year or so learned how to sell and support large enterprises.
But we understand that Bebop was a labour of love for Greene and she wouldn’t have ditched it to take a job for Google without ensuring a good outcome for her employees.
Since leaving VMware and before starting Bebop, she’s been mostly advising and angel investing in startups, and many of them have done extremely well, too, such as Cloud Physics, Cloudera, and Nicira.
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