Blogger founder leaves Google

Evan Williams denies rift, mum on future plans on departure from the search giant.

Paul Festa
Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
covers browser development and Web standards.
2 min read
Google confirmed that the founder of its blog unit is leaving the company.

Evan Williams, who launched Pyra Labs in 1999 to facilitate other people's Web logs, announced his imminent departure from Google--appropriately enough--in a blog posting.

"Yes, I'm leaving my baby (or is it an adolescent by now?)," Williams wrote Monday. "As of this Friday, I will no longer be employed by Google."

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Google acquired Pyra Labs and its Blogger service in February 2003, amid a near frenzy over the potential for blogs to attract loyal Web site visitors and perhaps even generate profits.

After acquiring Blogger, Google rescinded fees for premium services and revamped the site.

Since the all-stock sale of Blogger, Google also made its stock market debut in an IPO that made multibillionaires out of its founders and presumably provided Williams with enough cash to not work for a while. He wrote that while he had entertained the idea of starting a new business, he would be taking time off to think before starting anything new.

In an interview, Williams said Blogger had at least doubled in size and perhaps tripled since Google acquired it, then with 1 million users.

In his post, he anticipated speculation about an acquisition gone awry and denied any ill will against the company.

"Leaving was entirely my decision," Williams wrote. "They even offered that I could start something else within the company, if I wanted. The reason I'm leaving probably comes down to personality more than anything. I've just always been stubbornly independent-minded--even when it wasn't necessarily in my best interest...If I was going to work for anyone, I'd work for Google. It's basically just not in my nature."