For a company steeped in making sure you can find out whatever you want when you want, and a company keeping terabyte after terabyte of data on billions of web clicks every month, Google's been the target of privacy rights groups for some time.
But make no mistake, when it comes to the upcoming wedding of one of its co-founders, privacy is priority-one for Google.
But that isn't stopping the blogs and the digerati from finding out whatever they can about the nuptials involving Larry Page and long-time girlfriend Lucy Southworth, a Stanford PhD candidate. Our friends over at Valleywag.combroke the news that the event is scheduled for Richard Branson's Necker Island; various reports have the wedding taking place the weekend of December 8. Invites have gone out, with the advisory to attendees to make sure their passports have been updated.
Says Valleywag editor-in-chief Owen Thomas: "This is THE wedding that everyone's talking about in the Silicon Valley."
As you can imagine, Valleywag is trying to dig up whatever it can, though Thomas is wondering how Larry and Lucy will one-up the other half of the Google-founders dynamic duo: Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki who got married in a super-secret ceremony last May.
"When Sergey and Anne got married, they swam to a sandbar to take their vows," Thomas tells me. "I don't know what Larry and Lucy are going to do to top that, but it's going to be something big, I'm sure."
Necker Island makes sense for a groom worth $20 billion. Branson's Caribbean retreat might be the ultimate and secure playground for the rich and famous. Princess Diana even hung out there. And make no mistake, it ain't cheap. John Steinle, the president of Sanctuare, tells us rooms start at $50,000 a week and can climb to $300,000 a week.
What about a pre-nup? Likely, says well-known Silicon Valley family law attorney Ned Hales. But don't think this will be a simple document. This kind of thing, at this level, with $20 billion hanging in the balance, usually requires an army of attorneys, accountants, advisers and the like. Tough being rich.
What about the guest list? The San Francisco Chronicle says Mayor Gavin Newsome will be in attendance. Likewise for Brin, CEO Eric Schmidt, Richard Branson. What about Google "special advisor" Al Gore? Not likely. He's got a conflict. Seems he's got a little get-together already planned for Oslo, Norway since that's the weekend he's supposed to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize! Oh well, he reportedly may make an appearance via videoconference. Ah, technology!
Thomas says his own appearance is unlikely. Not just because of the 150-foot ocean-security barrier around the island's perimeter, but because his expense report would probably see unusual scrutiny. Unfortunate. Advice, Owen: this is one of those classic cases where it might be better asking forgiveness instead of permission. That's MY plan!
Meantime, Larry's Necker Island nuptials will cap one heck of a year for him. Google shares briefly touched $750 last month, his company is poised to become the Microsoft of a new generation. My advice, such that it is: "yes, dear;" and "I'm sorry" work just as well on Wall Street as they will at home.
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