A representative for Sergey Brin has announced that the Google co-founder and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, “have been living apart for several months”.
One of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile couples, Brin and Wojcicki were long-term partners before marrying in 2007, on a private island in the Bahamas. Both are 40 years old. They have two children under five. According to reports a prenup was signed, which will protect his controlling share in Google if the couple divorces.
Understandably, there has been a lot of media interest in this story. Google is one of the world’s biggest and best-known brands. Sergey Brin, who is worth $22.8 billion, is one of the world’s richest men.
Extra grist has been added to the mill because Sergey Brin is reportedly dating one of his junior employees at Google: a 27-year-old marketing manager from the UK, with whom he has been working closely on the Google Glass project. Amanda Rosenberg went to school with Kate and Pippa Middleton, studied at the University of Leeds and moved to Google’s HQ in California last year.
One insider has said that for a company such as Google, such situations are not altogether surprising: “They all work so closely together. The company is set up so that people practically live there. You can get all your meals, do your laundry – they even have places to take a nap. It’s very intense.”
However I think it is worth noting that, even if there is a prenup, this is one marriage in which working life and family life have been entwined to an extraordinary degree. Perhaps we should expect nothing less from two highly successful, young entrepreneurs in 2013: notoriously, Silicon Valley allows little by way of work-life balance.
Sergey Brin’s sister-in-law, Susan Wojcicki, was one of Google’s first employees and is now a senior vice-president at the search giant. A 2011 profile revealed that the advertising products she oversees accounted for 96% of Google’s revenue in 2010. Famously, Google’s first office was her garage.
Anne Wojcicki is the CEO of a DNA test kit company called 23andMe, which has raised more than $100 million from investors including Google, Google Ventures and Sergey Brin himself.
Brin and Wojcicki also have a number of joint ventures and run their own charitable foundation, which donated $222.9 million to charitable causes in 2012.
According to their spokesman the split is amicable, with Brin and Wojcicki remaining “good friends and partners”, and the couple will continue to work together on their joint ventures and projects.