John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google Co-Founders to Sell $5.5 Billion in Stock, Cede Majority Voting Power

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are unloading some of their shares in the company. According to an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the two plan to sell off about 17 percent of their Google stock, a total of 10 million shares, over the next five years.

With Google (GOOG) shares priced as they are, we’re obviously talking about quite a bit of money here, roughly $5.5 billion. What Page and Brin plan to do with that sum is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they can buy the Presidential Palace in China.

Anyway…

Interestingly, the co-founders’ sales will lower their joint stake in Google to 47.7 million shares from 57.7 million shares and their voting power to 48 percent from 59 percent.

Which means that in five years, Page and Brin will give up majority control of the company. Not that that means all that much. Shareholders who taking them to the mat five years from now would face a daunting task–48 percent voting power isn’t easily overruled.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald