When Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Eric Schmidt as Google's CEO because, among other reasons, he'd been to Burning Man, they must have known they were getting a boss with alternative values. But did they know that their newly hired grownup would prove to be Google's adulterer supervision? Schmidt is famous for having a series of girlfriends, despite being married, to whom he's reportedly promised marriage. Ones known to Valleywag include Rita Koselka and Marcy Simon. But it's Simon, his current fling, who might concern Page and Brin. Why? Because Simon has apparently wangled a desk and a phone line in Google's cramped New York offices.
Packed to the gills in its West Chelsea offices, Google is on the hunt for more office space in the neighborhood. And Schmidt himself has noted how a rampant hiring binge led to a squeeze on profits in the second quarter. Schmidt defended the overhiring, saying the people Google brought on were of such high quality that, in retrospect, company management didn't mind, but they're now easing back on adding new recruits. (We've been trying to help out with our "Toogle Many Googlers" series.)
Imagine how Googlers will feel when they learn that the real-estate crunch and the hiring cutbacks are partly because Schmidt felt the need to make room for his girlfriend. When you dial Google's New York number and get through to the automated phone directory, Marcy Simon's listed, and a tipster says she definitely has an office there. What her duties at Google are is unclear.
Also unclear is what happened to the job Simon, in February, landed at Ogilvy PR as a "senior advisor." Perhaps her colleagues at Ogilvy already felt they'd had enough advice?
The gall of Schmidt — whether he's actually put his girlfriend on the payroll, or just provided her scarce New York office space — puts us in mind of Charles II, the Restoration ruler of England. That king was famous for giving his mistresses royal titles, so it would be more seemly for him to consort with them. Perhaps Schmidt, in his imperial delusions, thinks that giving Simon a direct-dial line at Google will make his spending time with her seem less questionable.
Hardly so, of course. But we're nevertheless taking the occasion to crown Simon as the Duchess of West Chelsea. Because this is — how to put it delicately? — royal bullshit.