Google chairman Eric Schmidt, other tech CEOs meet with Obama, NSA

eric-schmidt

Google chariman Eric Schmidt joined a group of tech CEOs who met with the president and members of the administration today to discuss the implementation of recently-announced changes in the National Security Administration’s spying practices. Other CEOs in the group represented Facebook, Dropbox, Netflix, and more. Along with the president were several advisors and councilors, including the Deputy Director of the NSA.

The executives were updated on the status of changes to the NSA’s spying policies that were first detailed last year and continued to be further expanded upon in recent months. These CEOs were among those who signed an open letter to the federal government comdemning the unwarranted sue of spying tactics to intercept and store communications sent via various online platforms.

Earlier this week Google’s Larry Page also discussed the NSA and issues of privacy during the TED conference.

Video: Larry Page discusses NSA, privacy, healthcare at TED conference

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Google CEO Larry Page made a somewhat rare public appearance this week speaking with CBS’s Charlie Rose at the TED ideas conference in Vancouver. During the conversation, Page expressed his ‘tremendous’ disappointment in the government using the NSA to conduct surveillance in secret and how that affects democracy. He noted the importance of having a conversation about privacy and democracy as Google tries to protect its users’ privacy as we share more and more information. (Video below) Read more

Google rewarding three top executives with bonuses of more than $3 million

Googler Patric Pichette

Googler Patric Pichette

In a filing with the SEC today, Google has revealed that it will be giving three of its top executives bonuses of more than $3 million. Co-founder and CEO Larry Page will not be awarded a bonus, nor will co-founder Sergey Brin. The two co-founders also take a salary of $1 a year, as their wealth is tied almost entirely into Google stock.

Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will be receiving a $3.5 million bonus, up from $2.8 million last year. Chief Legal Officer David C. Drummond will receive a bonus of $3 million, down slightly from the $3.3 million he was paid last year. Finally, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette’s bonus increased to $3 million from $2.8 million.

Last month, Google announced that it had paid Eric Schmidt $6 million in cash and given him $100 million in restricted stock.

The bonuses issued to Arora, Drummond, and Pichette will be paid out on March 14th.

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Google SVP Sundar Pichai denies it bid on WhatsApp

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai at D: All Things Digital conference

Despite widespread reporting that Google bid and failed to purchase WhatsApp ahead of Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of the messaging platform company, Google SVP Sundar Pichai went on the record during a panel discussion at Mobile World Congress to put that claim to bed, The Telegraph reports.

“Whatsapp was definitely an exciting product,” he said. “We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue.”

The source of the reports that Google attempted to pick up WhatsApp for $10 billion source back to a report by Fortune citing “two separate sources” claiming Google had previously underbid Facebook. Read more

Google ad head Susan Wojcicki to head-up YouTube in bid to boost ad revenues? (Update: Google confirms)

Photo: makers.com

Photo: makers.com

The Information is reporting that the head of Google’s advertising products team, Susan Wojcicki, is likely to replace Salar Kamangar as the head of YouTube.

The move would send a clear signal that Google CEO Larry Page wants to zero in on the site’s ad products. While YouTube’s growth has continued, the site has struggled to charge more for its ads as the supply of videos continues to outstrip advertiser demand across the Web …  Read more