May 5, 2004

Google and Employee Ownership

NCEO founder and senior staff member

Google's unusual IPO has attracted considerable discussion. Google's founders have made it very clear they do not intend to be a conventional company. They insist, for instance, that their already substantial menu of employee benefits will grow, not shrink, no matter what shareholders might think. They also say they are committed to broad employee ownership (Google currently gives all employees options and a stock purchase plan). Here is how Larry Page, Google's cofounder, expresses their employee ownership views: "The significant employee ownership of Google has made us what we are today. Because of our employee talent, Google is doing exciting work in nearly every area of computer science. We are in a very competitive industry where the quality of our product is paramount. Talented people are attracted to Google because we empower them to change the world; Google has large computational resources and distribution that enables individuals to make a difference. Our main benefit is a workplace with important projects, where employees can contribute and grow. We are focused on providing an environment where talented, hard working people are rewarded for their contributions to Google and for making the world a better place."