[Pictured left: Former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, right: Wael Ghonim]
Wael Ghonim is a Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) marketing manager for the Middle East. Ghonim is also responsible for helping organize a protest against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. That protest was effective because Mubarak has just stepped down from the presidency of Egypt. While protesting in Egypt, Ghonim was temporarily arrested by the police. “We have passionate employees,” stated a Google manager in response to Ghonim’s actions. But Google also wants to make three points clear according to the Wall Street Journal:
? Mr. Ghonim is on leave during his activism in Egypt and is acting on his own, not as an agent of the company. The public is making far too much of his connection to Google.
? What employees do on their own time is their own private matter, not something the company should govern, and therefore not something the company is concerned about.
? Google was worried about Mr. Ghonim’s safety when he was in detention, but now that he’s free it has no comment on his activities. It will welcome him back to work when he decides to return.