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.