Awkward alert: Zuckerberg joins Google
Facebook has taken quite a beating lately, with stock prices tanking from US$38 to below US$20 and board member Peter Thiel selling off millions of his shares the minute he could. But investors be damned because nothing cuts deeper than when a family member fraternises with the enemy.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Chairman of the Board, CEO and driving force behind Facebook, will soon face the fact that his younger sister Arielle works for his biggest competitor, Google.
Arielle is a junior product manager in the advertising and marketing software start-up Wildfire Interactive Inc, and things got a little complicated in the Zuckerberg household when Google acquired Wildfire recently.
It's nothing but a commonplace transaction in Silicon Valley, but with Wildfire being a part of Google now, Arielle will presumably be employed by Google. And the last time we checked, Facebook does not 'Like' Google and Google's no 'Friend' of Facebook.
The giants have been locked in a constant war for web domination and the competition intensified when Google launched social network Google+ last year.
Arielle isn't the only Zuckerberg relative who's joining Google. Mark's brother-in-law Harry Schmidt also works at Wildfire as a product strategist, reported Business Insider. He's married to Mark's other sister Donna.
So is dinner going to be uncomfortable at the Zuckerbergs? Well, 28-year-old Mark, who was at one point the world's youngest self-made billionaire, has always displayed an endearing ability of laughing off awkward situations.
He famously appeared on Saturday Night Live opposite Jesse Eisenberg, the actor who portrayed the Facebook co-founder in a not-so-flattering light in David Fincher's movie The Social Network.
The Harvard dropout-turned-Internet entrepreneur, who tied the knot with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan in May, has yet to say anything about this.
However, his elder sister Randi, former marketing director of Facebook and now the head of a company called R to Z Studios, congratulated Wildfire on the acquisition, tweeting: "There are officially now more Zuckerberg family members working for Google than Facebook! #awkward ;)."
On a business level, Wildfire has been working closely with social networking sites, especially Facebook, and this partnership is expected to continue, even as Wildfire gets integrated into Google+. CNN puts it aptly: "Google would be in the interesting position of writing one of its biggest rivals an indirect cheque."
It's not known how much the acquisition has cost Google, but IT publication TechCrunch has cited several sources claiming that "the sale price was around US$250 million".
Source: The Huffington Post
Published: 22nd August 2012