In what could be described as insider trading earlier in the month, Google co-founder and major shareholder, Sergey Brin, sold 103,426 shares of his Google stocks at an average price of $536.79 (N96,622) per share, earning him about $56m (N9.9bn) in a single day.
Following the sale, the technologist billionaire now directly owns 22,192,518 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12bn (N2.1trn).
The transaction was reportedly disclosed in a document filed with the American Securities and Exchange Commission, as major shareholders that own more than 10 per cent of a company’s stock are required to disclose their sales and purchases with the SEC.
Meanwhile, the technology giant, Google, which Brin cofounded with Larry Page, now has a reported market capitalisation of $365bn (about N66tn).
As of December 2014, Brin’s personal wealth was estimated at $28bn (about N5trn); Brin and Page reportedly own about 16 per cent of the company each.
Meet the developer of world’s most used website
Internet search engine, Google, needs no introduction and it would be stating the obvious that an average internet user visits the website at least once a day – to find one information or the other. However, what many users of the search engine may not know is the brains behind it. Meet one of them – Sergey Brin.
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin, an American scientist and internet entrepreneur, was born on August 21, 1973 in the Soviet Union to Russian-Jewish parents, Michael Brin and Eugenia Brin, both graduates of Moscow State University, Russia.
Brin emigrated to the United States with his family from the Soviet Union at the age of six. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, USA, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps by studying mathematics, as well as computer science.
After graduation, he moved to Stanford University to acquire a PhD in computer science. There he met Larry Page, with whom he later became friends. They crammed their dormitory room with inexpensive computers and applied Brin’s data mining system to build a search engine.
The programme became so popular at Stanford to the extent that they suspended their PhD studies to start up Google in a rented garage and the rest is now history.
Brin’s work ethics and ambitious projects
Brin, now the Director of Special Projects, Google, has a thing for ambitious projects with many media and corporate organisations comparing his vision to that of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of modern printing.
In October 2010, for example, Brin and Page invested in a major offshore wind power development to assist the East coast power grid, which will eventually become one of about a dozen offshore wind farms that are proposed for the region.
A week earlier, they introduced a car that, with “artificial intelligence”, can drive itself using video cameras and radar sensors. They proposed that in the future, drivers of cars with similar sensors would have fewer accidents, while also stating that these vehicles would require less fuel consumption.
He is also an investor in Tesla Motors, an electric car manufacturing firm which has developed the Tesla Roadster, a 244-mile (393km) range battery electric vehicle as well as the Tesla Model S, a 265-mile (426km) range battery electric vehicle.
In 2012, Brin was involved with the ‘Project Glass’ programme and demoed eyeglass prototypes. Project Glass is a research and development programme by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display.
The intended purpose of Project Glass products would be the hands-free displaying of information currently available to most smart phone users, and allowing for interaction with the Internet via natural language voice commands.
Brin’s mansions, jets and cars
He resides in a cozy mansion, which is spread over 6,000 square feet. The eco-friendly mansion is constructed on a 0.75 acre lot in Palo Alto, California, USA. It is a mansion with all the luxury facilities one can think of.
He also got himself a 3,500 square feet home in Greenwich Street, New York for $8.5m (N1.53bn).
Brin has a Dornier Alpha fighter jet, whose attributes make it appear as a light attack jet and advanced trainer aircraft. The jet was designed by Germany’s Dornier and France’s Dassault-Breguet.
It is only the super rich that could afford to have more than one private aircraft, and Brin is one of them. He also co-owns a customised Google jet 767-200 with Page, a jet which was designed by aircraft manufacturer, Boeing. The jet is a twin-engine, short-to medium-range jetliner and has a maximum range of 3,100 to 4,100 nautical miles.
Brin has a passion for sports cars also. His car collection includes a $109,000 (N19.6m) Tesla Roadster sports car which can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just four seconds. The car is light-weighted as it weighs just over 2,700 pounds.
Brin also owns a Toyota Prius, the foremost reason being his love for solidly built, yet light weight body cars. The Prius is known for its amazing speed as it can reach 100kmph in just 11.7 seconds.
Brin’s most famous quotes
“Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.”
“We wouldn’t survive if people didn’t trust us.”
“We want Google to be the third half of your brain.”
“We saw that a thousand results weren’t necessarily as useful as 10 good ones.”
“I feel there’s an existential angst among young people. I didn’t have that. They see enormous mountains, where I only saw one little hill to climb.”
“When it’s too easy to get money, then you get a lot of noise mixed in with the real innovation and entrepreneurship. Tough times bring out the best parts of Silicon Valley.”
“You always hear the phrase, ‘money doesn’t buy you happiness.’ But I always figured in the back of my mind that a lot of money could buy you a little bit of happiness.”
“We have tried to define precisely what it means to be a force for good – always do the right, ethical thing. Ultimately, ‘Don’t be evil’ seems the easiest way to summarise it.”