Google hires 'father of the Internet'

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG - news) said on Thursday it hired Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf to become its "chief Internet evangelist," the latest high-powered engineer to sign up at the Web search leader.

Cerf, 62, is widely known as the "father of the Internet" for his role in developing the TCP/IP standards that form the structure of the Internet.

He was hired away from telecoms company MCI Inc. (Nasdaq:MCIP - news) and tasked with helping to develop new Internet applications for Google. MCI is in the process of merging into Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ - news).
"The title is amazing," Cerf said in a phone interview.
"It's Chief Internet Evangelist, which suggests I should go from three-piece suits to some sort of ecclesiastical robes."

Cerf, who as a child was raised as a Congregationalist, quipped that his religion is "geek orthodox."

He grew up in Southern California. He was an undergraduate student at Stanford University and went on to co-develop the Internet's basic protocols with Bob Kahn in 1973. Cerf has remained an active inventor for more than 30 years.

He developed MCI Mail, an early commercial e-mail program between 1982 and 1986 then left to work on a digital library project with his colleague Kahn that involved an intellectual property rights protection system.

For the last 11 years he has been working on Internet infrastructure projects at MCI. Moving to Google will allow him to return to developing applications, a Google executive said.

"We expect Vin to work on new applications, to worry about where the Internet is going, and how to keep it healthy," said Bill Courghan, 52, a vice president of engineering at Google.
"These are all things which are good for Google," he said.
Since 1999, Cerf has served as chairman at Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

He has acted as a peacemaker in an organization riven by controversies over the constitution of its authority by Internet activists, domain name entrepreneurs and governmental organizations outside the United States.

He said he hoped to retain the role in ICANN and avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. Google serves as a registrar of Internet domain names and technically has business interests governed by ICANN.

Cerf joins other high-profile engineers Google has hired recently. These include Adam Bosworth, Google's vice president of engineering, known as one of the pioneers of XML, for Extensible Markup Language, which ungirds many modern Web applications.

Louis Monier was an early developer at AltaVista, which was the Web's most powerful search engine in the early years of the commercial Internet. Mark Lucovsky was part of the team that developed Windows NT at Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news), while Andy Rubin was a founder of Danger Inc. which developed the Sidekick Web phone.

"These people just don't know you can't do that. So they just go out and do it," Cerf said of working with a generation who came of age in the Internet era. "That's the great thing of working with all these new folks."

1 Comment(s):

annette said...

And here I always thought Al Gore was the father of the internet...

Oh that is right, he just invented it. heh.