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Google co-founder faces lawsuit from wife amid divorce call

Google co-founder faces lawsuit from wife amid divorce call
December 23
11:33 2019

SAN FRANCISCO: You know all about Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin who have paved the way for Sundar Pichai to take over as CEO of both Google and its parent company Alphabet.

There was a third, almost forgotten co-founder of Google — Scott Hassan — who is also making headlines but for all the wrong reasons. Hassan’s wife has taken him to court, alleging that her husband has purposely sold his robotic startup in a “fire sale” amid their ongoing divorce proceedings.

In a complaint filed in Delaware, Allison Huynh said that her husband, who is the CEO of Suitable Technologies has sold key assets of the company to Denmark-based Blue Ocean at the “indefensible” price of $400,000, reports Forbes.

The complaint says that Suitable’s patent portfolio, hard assets, and licensing potential should instead “obtain a value in the tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars”. The Delaware judge, however, denied a preliminary injunction last week to block Hassan from selling his robotics startup but the fight is still on. Suitable makes a telepresence robot called ‘Beam’ which is being used by some top multinational companies for video-conferencing purposes.

It is a screen on the wheels that can be moved in the conference room, as if the person speaking via the screen is himself moving. According to the report, the couple who married in 2001 began divorce proceedings in California in 2015, which are still not resolved. Huynh co-owns at least 600,000 shares of Suitable common stock as “community property” with Hassan, making her eligible to sue as a shareholder, said the report.

Hassan met Google cofounders Page and Brin at Stanford University. He programmed much of the original search engine that finally became Google. Later, he founded an email list-service startup called eGroups.com that Yahoo bought for about $432 million in stock in 2002. He then started a new venture called robotics incubator Willow Garage and invested around $80 million into it, only to shut it down in 2013.

In Suitable, Hassan has invested nearly $93 million. According to the lawsuit, the company is worth more than Hassan has agreed to sell it for in an alleged “tainted, self-dealing transaction,a said the report. IANS

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