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Playboy bares more of Google

Fleshpot magazine posts to its Web site deleted text from controversial interview with Google co-founders.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen
2 min read
Apparently, Google didn't reveal enough in Playboy the first time.

On Tuesday, the fleshpot magazine posted to its Web site deleted material from the controversial interview with Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who became paper billionaires last week in the search darling's $1.66 billion initial public offering.

The original Playboy article, released in the September issue, threatened to delay the anticipated deal because of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules that bar executives from promoting their business before a public offering. To avoid a postponement, Google added the entire article, with corrections, to its paperwork filed with the SEC, days before its offering was approved.

Now Playboy is exposing a little bit more of the article that fell on the cutting-room floor.

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"Since there was so much interest, we thought we'd post all of the interview to the Web site," said Theresa Hennessey, a spokeswoman for Playboy.

A Google representative declined to comment.

The excerpts touch largely on Google's management structure.

In comments, Page said: "We want a thin structure. It could be too thin. The downside is that people don't get the attention they need, especially the more junior people. But there's a trade-off. We're all more connected to one another, and more work gets done.

"Our structure allows us to have an unusually large number of small projects going on all the time. We have hundreds. There may be only three people on a project. On that scale, there's a lot of creativity and a lot of self-managing," he said.

Page also elaborated on how the company's slim management system works well with technology that helps employee reviews, for example. "Another system sends everyone in the company a weekly e-mail asking what they did the previous week. Everyone responds, and a program compiles all the responses. Right now, I can get a list of what everybody throughout Google did last week."

Even though the SEC did not delay the IPO last week, it could still be investigating Google for possible securities violations because of the publicity. The SEC also has an informal inquiry into Google's issuance of millions of unregistered shares to insiders, in potential violation of federal and state law.