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SearchBiz: Whetstone Becomes New Google PR Chief; Google And The “M-Word,” & Flickr Founder Criticizes Yahoo
Remember Google losing its head of PR, Elliott Schrage, to Facebook back in May? Google has quietly found a replacement, that of Rachel Whetstone. She formerly headed corporate communications for Google in Europe. Google confirmed to us she was named to the post several weeks ago, though no announcement was made. But her replacement got some coverage — BBC editor Peter Barron is reportedly going to join Google as head of communications for the UK, Ireland, and Benelux regions, according to this Guardian UK report.
The “M-word” has popped up recently several times around Google’s search market share and its paid search deal with Yahoo (now under Justice Department review). Google, of course, doesn’t see itself as a monopoly and is taking pains to distinguish itself from the likes of Microsoft and others who were so designated in earlier corporate periods. CNET’s Charles Cooper has audio of an interview on the subject with Google attorneys Kent Walker and Dana Wagner.
As most people now have read, according to TechCrunch, Google has backed away from a rumored near-deal with social news site and “recommendations engine” Digg. The deal in the first place was somewhat mysterious, but TechCrunch speculates that personality differences were responsible for the apparent Google decision not to go through with it.
In other personnel moves, Facebook has hired Mozilla VP Engineering Mike Schroepfer as Director of Engineering. TechCrunch attributes Schroepfer’s decision to financial opportunity but undoubtedly his motives for the move were multi-faceted.
In addition to Schroepfer, PaidContent reports on the moves and new roles of several industry executives at Scripps, NBCU, PermissionTV, and Yahoo.
Yahoo, for its part, has jumped on the cloud computing bandwagon. According to this release, HP, Intel, and Yahoo have joined forces on “creation of a global, multi-data center, open source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research and education.” The stated goal of the initiative is to “provide a globally distributed, Internet-scale testing environment designed to encourage research on the software, data center management and hardware issues associated with cloud computing at a larger scale than ever before.”
Meanwhile, one of Yahoo’s most high-profile former executives, Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, was busy criticizing his old employer and saying he wished the MicroHoo deal had gone through:
“It was not so great,” Butterfield said of the Microsoft acquisition saga. “Once the ball was rolling I would have rather seen the acquisition happen. I think a lot of damage was done to Yahoo. Not only from a company perspective, but from a leadership and (morale) perspective.”
Butterfield also lashed out at Yahoo’s public-company concern with quarterly earnings at the expense of strategic risk taking. Speaking of quarterly earnings, Yahoo Japan just reported 18 percent YoY growth but also that the slowing economy in Japan would dampen its outlook. Yahoo Japan is a joint venture of Softbank Corp and Yahoo.