While Google has a lot of employees with names worth remembering, one of the most important in recent times was WaelGhonim. Ghonim, apart from his work as a Google executive, had been a poitical activist in Egypt using social networking resources including Facebook and Twitter to establish information and organizational resources. Due to this activism, Ghonimwas detained without official arrest or charges – and was, after his release, seen as a symbol of the resistance movement. Given his long list of important priorities, it’s not entirely surprising that Wael Ghonim will now be taking an extended leave of absence to establish a non-government organization (NGO).
The exact nature of that NGO hasn’t been revealed, but Ghonim indicated that its intent was to “add a different to people’slives using technology.” His work, both through the NGO and otherwise, is aimed at estblishing a new society in Egypt. He expressed these sentiments eloquently when he said, “We had a dream. Hosni Mubarak was a nightmare, and we got rid of the nightmare, but we still need to reach the dream.”
It is notable that this announcement occurred shortly after Ghonim was named to Time‘s list of the 100 most influential people of today. And, while it’s unlikely that Ghonim’s departure is related to the early April management shuffle at Google, Ghonimis just one of several big-name, executive-level employees that Google can no longer call to.