This adds to the already numerous ties between Google and the Obama administration — chief executive Eric Schmidt is on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, former Googler Katie Staunton is director of citizen participation, and Sonal Shah (previously of Google.org) is in charge of the White House Office of Social Innovation. More tenuously, venture capitalist John Doerr, who invested in Google, is on Obama’s economic advisory board.
At last night’s Startup2Startup event, Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg said the Obama campaign was “really run like a tech company.” It looks like the same may be coming true for his administration — and that company is Google.
At the same time, Obama disappointed some techies when he appointed Aneesh Chopra — whose background was more in government than in the tech world, and who isn’t from Silicon Valley — as his chief technology officer. Since McLaughlin will be reporting to Chopra, this is a sign that Silicon Valley will have a role in shaping the country’s tech policy. Because we’re important, dammit.
The Times’ report is based on “two people with knowledge of Mr. McLaughlin’s plans.” Google hasn’t responded to my request for comment yet, but CNET says the search giant has confirmed that McLaughlin plans to leave.