Last August the normally stable world of Google was rocked by a salacious scandal involving its co-founder Sergey Brin.
Brin had left his wife and was having an affair with Google employee Amanda Rosenberg, who worked on marketing for Google Glass.
That would be quite enough to turn heads, but there was an extra level of intrigue. It turns out Rosenberg had been dating Hugo Barra, another high-level Google employee while she was having her affair with Brin.
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also this: Brin’s wife is Anne Wojcicki, who runs 23andMe, a genetics startup Google invested in. Anne’s sister Susan works at Google and currently runs YouTube. When Google was a startup it ran out of Susan’s garage, which where Sergey met Anne.
The dust had largely settled on the story, but today Vanity Fair has published a fresh look at the whole story with new details and tons of reporting.
According to Vanity Fair, Anne was blindsided by the affair.
She had become friendly with Rosenberg, who was working on Google Glass with Brin. She even bought Rosenberg a present for Christmas since Rosenberg was spending time with the family. Shortly after that, Anne found some messages between Brin and Rosenberg that aroused her suspicions and said something to Rosenberg.
By April, Brin had moved out of his home into his own place.
News didn’t break until August of Brin’s affair. Despite the uproar, Rosenberg continued to work on Google Glass with Brin.
One source told Vanity Fair, “Larry is so ethically strict. . . . I heard Larry was insanely upset by this whole situation and wasn’t talking to Sergey … At Google, some people were furious internally, especially women, that Sergey and Amanda were not [professionally] separated.”
That is just one source.
The truth is that in Google, there’s no formal ban on co-workers dating and it happens often.
The epilogue to the story isn’t particularly pretty.
Anne’s company has been under attack from the FDA. It doesn’t think that people should be getting genetic information from a startup. She’s dealing with that while trying to raise the children she had with Brin on her own.
Rosenberg still works at Google, and apparently is still with Brin, but she wrote a blog post confessing that she is dealing with depression.