Google Annouces Oral Exams for All Employees

With news today that Google has added Princeton University president Shirley Tilghman to its board of directors, the company has entered a rarefied class. Tilghman will serve alongside Stanford University president John Hennessy, making Google almost certainly the only public company in America with two university president on the same board — and Ivy League presidents (more or less) at that.

That is, in a word, nuts. While university presidents are fine people, and Tilghman and Hennessy are undoubtedly better than most (she’s Canadian and he’s been an entrepreneur), this is more of the same intellectual one-upsmanship that the Google guys have been playing for some time. With its fixation on age and IQ, the company is turning into a cross between Logan’s Run and a Mensa block party.

Can it be much longer until incoming employees have to do oral exams, or present product plans to thesis committees? The mind boggles.


  1. Hell GOOG already requires a thesis statement internally and from potential partners.
    And the hits just keep on rolling…

  2. Brent Holliday says:

    “undoubtedly better than most (she?s Canadian…”
    Well, let’s see, you’re Canadian, I’m Canadian, couldn’t agree with you more… but the FP/Prospect Top 100 Public Intellectuals list included only two (deux) Canadians. The United States has 38 (that’s 19 times more) on the list. Far be it from me to suggest that the British know their intellectuals, but being a true self-deprecating Canadian, I think the fact that Shirley is Canadian does not make her really smart. She just IS really smart.

  3. Hey Brent — I’m sure she’s smart, but Google’s still dumb for loading its board with university presidents.

  4. Gordon Mattey says:

    I do believe the correct term is aural rather than oral.