Larry Brilliant’s Exit Marks New Direction for Google.Org

    Larry Brilliant – the first executive director of Google's philanthropic organization,

    – announced on Feb. 23 that he will leave his post to become the company's chief philanthropy evangelist.

    His departure signals a change in Google.org's strategy, veering away from traditional foundation activities to closely align the charity's work with its for-profit namesake's focus on information technology.

    Brilliant

    after an internal progress review of Google.org's work.

    "During our review it became clear that while we have been able to support some remarkable nonprofit organizations over the past three years, our greatest impact has come when we've attacked problems in ways that make the most of Google's strengths in technology and information," said Brilliant in an official

    .

    , Google's vice president for new business development, will now manage the organization's day-to-day operations. Brilliant acknowledged that Smith's appointment will bring about a shift in Google's philanthropic strategy.

    "By aligning Google.org more closely with Google as a whole, Megan will ensure that we're better able to build innovative, scalable technology and information solutions," Brilliant said.

    He also reiterated that Google will still dedicate 1 percent of its annual profits to philanthropic work despite the recent economic downturn and strategy realignment.

    Google.org was established in 2004 by the company's founders with the unique

    of supporting both nonprofit and for-profit organizations that tackle poverty, climate change and emerging diseases through the use of information technology.

    About the author

    • Oliver Subasinghe

      Oliver joined Devex in late 2008 as an international development correspondent and researcher. He previously served as a microfinance fellow for Kiva in Kenya and Uganda. During his tenure, he worked with Kiva’s field partners to improve their operations and governance. Oliver holds a master's in business from the College of William & Mary.