The $8.5 million pied-à-terre that Google cofounder Sergey Brin and 23andMe cofounder Anne Wojcicki recently purchased in Manhattan's Greenwich Village? The previous owner, Bill Brady, paid $7 million for the condo around a year ago and was trying to move the unit for as much as $12 million after buying into a different building owned by art superstar Julian Schnabel. If you think it was the negotiating mastery of Brin and Wojcicki — who are expecting their first child together — think again. A tipster points out that besides helping with Google's IPO at Credit Suisse First Boston, Brady and former boss Frank Quattrone still advise the company:
[Brady] underwrote subsequent stock offerings, is a bidder in Google's transferable stock option program, covers its conference calls, and tries to cheerlead its price up to $900.
Our tipster asks how something that could appear as a conflict of interest got past Google's Code of Conduct Police, but he answered his own question: After funding his wife Wojcicki's biotech startup, it's clear that Brin, his fellow cofounder Larry Page, CEO Eric Schmidt, and other executives hold themselves well above any ethical guidelines they may have put into place for the underlings at the Googleplex.