(See updates at bottom)
Yesterday evening AllThingsD broke the news that one of Google’s top VPs was departing the search giant for Xiaomi, a company widely regarded as China’s answer to Apple. It seemed a strange and sudden move until this piece of news surfaced in tandem: Mr. Barra was reportedly involved with a fellow Googler, and that Googler is now dating 40-year-old married Google cofounder Sergey Brin.
AllThingsD’s sources claim that Mr. Barra tendered his resignation before learning that his ex was seeing Mr. Brin, but the timing is iffy at best. As Quartz put it, “So while Google has put the gloss on Barra’s leaving, saying that the company is glad he’s staying in the ‘Android ecosystem,’ it’s hard to see his departure as a positive—especially since the details of Sergey Brin’s love life are involved.”
So who is this mystery woman that managed to woo Mr. Barra before trading up for Mr. Brin? Valleywag claims it’s Google Glass marketing manager Amanda Rosenberg, a 26-year-old British spitfire who’s been gallivanting around the country with Mr. Brin in an attempt to convince the world that Google Glass can, in fact, be fashionable. She’s even responsible for coining the “OK Glass” voice command.
In January 2012 Ms. Rosenberg reportedly moved from London to San Francisco to join Google and within seven months was appointed Google Glass marketing manager. One person who worked with her at Google told Betabeat that she was “decently nice and ambitious.”
Here she is at NYFW with Mr. Brin. Here she is modeling a not-stupid looking version of Glass. And here she is in a marketing video poking fun at Mr. Brin’s appearance. (At 1:16 she says, “I think I saw a picture of a homeless man on the subway wearing these,” undoubtedly referring to this photo of Mr. Brin.)
Apparently no Googler has been brave enough to address the fracas on the company’s anonymous internal meme generator, or–more likely–posts that do address it are being scrubbed.
Reportedly trading in his super smart and capable wife of six years for one of his employees surely isn’t a good look for Mr. Brin, who has thrown all of his energies recently into the projects from Google’s top secret Google[x] unit, such as Glass and self-driving cars.
It’s unclear what the future holds for the marriage of Mr. Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki, who’s the CEO of DNA testing company 23 and Me. The couple, who have two children, have reportedly been living apart for months but have not officially filed for divorce. Together they were some of the Valley’s most prominent philanthropists, donating $223 million in 2012 alone.
According to the couple’s spokesperson, the two are still on good terms.
“They remain good friends and partners,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Twitter speculation continues.
The New York Post reports that Ms. Rosenberg has been transferred within Google to another department, most likely because Mr. Brin was one of her bosses on the Glass project, creating an uncomfortable conflict of interest. She’s been moved “to be even further from Sergei in the chain of command,” a source told the Post.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is all excited because Ms. Rosenberg apparently attended the same bougie boarding school as Kate and Pippa Middleton, Marlborough College.