- Tuesday marked the long-promised day when Google began the process of deleting Google+ accounts, ahead of the social network’s total shutdown.
- And not immune to the purge were the accounts of high-powered Google executives, which are vanishing from public view.
- The accounts belonging to executives past and present like Sergey Brin, Sundar Pichai, and Eric Schmidt were deleted shortly after Business Insider reached out to Google for comment. However, we were able to take screenshots of Larry Page’s profile before deletion.
- This means that the shutdown of Google+ is poised to wash away years’ worth of important company history.
Tuesday marked the long-promised day when Google began the process of deleting accounts from the Google+ social network ahead of its total shutdown. Included in this purge are the Google+ accounts of high-powered Google executives, whose photos and posts were wiped away alongside everyone else’s.
Among the list of Google+ accounts that vanished from the public record on Tuesday include those belonging to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, current CEO Sundar Pichai, and former CEO Eric Schmidt.
Much of what was on those executives’ Google+ profiles are silly, including selfies of Brin skydiving or Page’s favourite pancake recipe. However, those profiles are also significant artifacts of Google’s history, including insight into its decision-making process and important company announcements.
It’s difficult to know just how much information was lost – the accounts belonging to executives like Sergey Brin, Sundar Pichai, and Eric Schmidt were deleted shortly after Business Insider reached out to Google for comment. However, we were able to take screenshots of Larry Page’s profile before it was deleted, below..
The loss of these profiles from public view makes it that much more difficult to get a clear view of Google’s past, and hold current leadership accountable to previous statements.
The deletion of executive Google+ accounts could have similar implications as the disappearance of Facebook posts from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as first reported last week by Business Insider. Zuckerberg’s now-vanished posts included his remarks on important company events such as the acquisition of Instagram.
Remnants of Larry Page’s Google+ account
Larry Page used his Google+ page to announce the departure of key executives from the company, including the Google’s first business hire Omid Kordestani and its Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora.
Regarding Arora, Page wrote: “I remember first meeting him at the British Museum, which for some reason Sergey had decided would be a good interview location. Nikesh has been a tremendous leader, adviser and mentor to many Googlers – including me. We have learned a lot together, and had a lot of fun along the way.”
Page’s account was deleted before Business Insider was able to screenshot these posts. The news of Kordestani’s and Arora’s departures was not mentioned on Google’s corporate blog.
Another post from Page, which came in 2013 during his second stint as Google CEO, described personal issues he was facing with his vocal chords, which had impacted his speech for years and caused him to talk softly.
“Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully,” Page wrote in the now-vanished post.
Other serious questions were also addressed on Page’s Google+ profile, including the company’s stance on the controversial National Security Agency surveillance program known as PRISM.
“We wanted you to have the facts,” Page wrote, in part, on his account. “We have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government-or any other government-direct access to our servers.”
Notably, this post was preserved on Google’s Company News site.
Another post from Page in 2014 showed the exec throwing his support behind curbing government surveillance.
Google first announced that Google+ would be shutting down last year, following reports of a security vulnerability that could have left user data exposed. In December, following reports of a further security vulnerability, it moved the date forward to April 2nd.
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