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Google readies charitable foundation

Google is searching for an executive director for the group, which will have 1 percent of the search giant's equity and profits to distribute.

As companies throughout the world pay special attention to charitable giving after the Indian Ocean tsunami, Google is gearing up to launch its corporate foundation in the coming year.

Google's founders have announced their intention to create the Google Foundation with their April 2004 "owner's manual," and now the company is in search of an executive director to head the group.

"This is going to be a key area of focus for the company in 2005," said Cindy McCaffrey, who ended her position as Google's vice president of marketing with the new year and will stay on to work part time on the foundation. "We're working now to get all the pieces in place."

The new foundation will have 1 percent of Google's equity and profits to distribute, the company promised last year.

McCaffrey, who began with Google in 1999 and is credited with helping build its brand around the world, is perhaps the highest-ranking Google employee to leave a corporate post since the company's successful IPO in August.

McCaffrey said she was involved in the hunt for the foundation's executive director and ruled herself out as a candidate.

"I'm not looking for work," she said.

McCaffrey said it was too early to discuss what causes Google's foundation will fund.

Several foundations sprung up following the high-tech boom of the 1990s, many of them--such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation--funded by individual fortunes.

Internet companies with foundations include eBay and, which is now matching $100,000 in tsunami relief donations through its Web site.