Google’s head of global public policy, Andrew McLaughlin, is quitting the company to join the Obama administration, reports the Times. He’s the third Googler to do so.
Before him, Google (GOOG) project manager Katie Stanton quit to become director of citizen participation. Sonal Sha, from Google’s for-profit charitable arm, Google.org, quit to lead the White House Office of Social Innovation.
The Google-to-White House moves have the anti-Google, pro-Microsoft public affairs firms in a tizzy with conspiracy theories. One of them, L Street lobbying firm LMG Inc wrote us to say:
This looks like a full embrace of Google by the White House. We do not remember a time when one company had so many executives leave to serve a single administration. Others may have a better handle on the history.
Here is Google’s official word:
As for a small handful of Googlers leaving the company to join the administration, we respect their decision to work in public service and wish them all the best in their new and exciting jobs.
As boring as it may be to hear, this is one of those time we’re inclined to believe Google’s corporate spin.We don’t think there’s much to worry about here for four reasons
- Googlers tend to be do-gooders with larger existential aspirations. Same with the Obama people. Moving from “Don’t be evil” to “Yes We Can” isn’t much of a stretch.
- Obama’s FTC is taking a hard look at Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s position on Apple’s board.
- Craig Mundie of Microsoft is an Obama advisor too.
- We’ve met Katie and think she’s great. But she was just a project manager at Google. Not the kind who will bowl Rahm Emmanuel over.