Without a doubt, the best person for the job!
Founder of The Well to lead Google philanthropy
By Elise Ackerman
Google has selected one of the Bay Area's earliest online pioneers and social venture capitalists to head its philanthropic efforts, the Mountain View search giant announced Tuesday.
A physician who co-founded a dial-up BBS known as The Well in 1985, Lawrence Brilliant has been juggling technology companies and social ventures for more than 20 years.
Most recently, Brilliant was chief executive of Cometa Networks, a company founded by AT&T, IBM and Intel to establish high-speed wireless access points around the country.
Brilliant is also a director of the Seva Foundation, a non-profit he founded in 1978 to build culturally sustainable solutions throughout the world to problems such as preventable blindness, diabetes, poverty and inequality.
Early supporters of Seva included Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, countercultural guru Ram Dass, clown and activist Wavy Gravy and Steve Jobs.
Brilliant said he was attracted by the depth and sincerity of Google's commitment to sustainable social change, noting ``there's a lot of pent-up demand'' among young people to do good work.
``I'm hoping that Google will become an inspiration to that generation of kids as well as to other companies to consciously try to make the world a better place,'' Brilliant said.
Brilliant will head Google.org, which oversees the Google Foundation, with a $90 million endowment, as well as partnerships with and contributions to various for-profit and non-profit entities.
Over the next 20 years, Google has pledged to spend the equivalent of the price of 3 million shares of its stock on Google.org -- close to $1 billion, according to Tuesday's closing price of $366.59.
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