Google’s First Employee Craig Silverstein Embarks On Expanding Educational Endeavors At Khan Academy

February 13, 2012 0

Mountain View, California — In quest of gaining and disseminating knowledge–Craig Silverstein, the first employee Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin appointed, has just revealed that he is parting his way with the company in order to serve the popular online learning organization Khan Academy. The news of Silverstein’s departure after fourteen years at Google first surfaced last weekend via the Edsurge, a newsletter that imparts education-tech entrepreneurship, AllThingsD was the first to report, which was later confirmed by Google.

Silverstein happened to be Google’s third personnel after the company’s founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin, when the company was still working from its founders’ Stanford dorm rooms. Throughout his occupation in Google, Silverstein was assigned a wide range of tasks and responsibilities under various profiles.

Considered one of the leading figures behind the growth of the then nascent startup — not the least during his tenure at the Internet company, he held a variety of roles, the first of which was his involvement in collaboration with Sergey Brin and Larry Page in coding the original Google search engine — Silverstein is remembered fondly by Google watchers who dealt with him through the years. His last project was mentoring Google engineers, AllThingsD said.

In a statement forwarded to PCMag, Google said “Craig has been with Google since the early days. He was actively involved in the development of search and made numerous contributions to Google over the years. We wish him all the best at Khan Academy and know that he will do great things to help them promote education around the globe.”

Though, Silverstein confirmed that he was heading to Kahn Academy, he could not disclose much information regarding his new responsibilities.

“Leaving Google was an extremely difficult choice. I am as passionate about Google’s mission now as I have ever been, and as proud of the work we are doing to achieve it.” Silverstein wrote in a farewell email to staff obtained by All Things D.

“While great many thing has changed at Google over the years, I think we have done a remarkable job of staying faithful to our core mission of making the world a better place by making information more accessible and useful. I am looking forward to pursuing that same mission, though in a slightly different way, at Khan,” he further continued.

Basically, Khan Academy is a nonprofit education organization, which furnishes freely available online resources for teachers, students and others seeking to expand their education. It has an vast video library, with content for grades K-12 in math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, finance, etc.:

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“It is very difficult to quit Google after so long, but I’m excited by the opportunities at Khan. I do not know exactly what I will be doing at Khan — programming of some sort — but I’m sure I will find out more next week. :-)” Silverstein stated in a statement.

Moreover, at Google, Silverstein formulated some of the company’s original IT components, which were critical in supporting the search engine’s growth. As you can see from some of the talks he has given, he has been involved with some of Google’s more educational endeavors:

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Kara Swisher shares a statement from a Google spokesperson on Silverstein’s departure. She also shares his goodbye email to the company. In that, Silverstein says:

Some of you thought this day would never come (as one person once put it: “Will you die at Google?”), and it was an extremely difficult choice.

I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such smart, passionate, and interesting people – not just a few, either, but (almost) everyone I worked with. I’m grateful not just that I had so many co-workers I could respect, but even more that I had so many that I could count as friends. I will miss that most of all, and I hope you will continue to be in touch. I also accept lunch invitations!

Best of luck, Craig! Google will miss you. Silverstein will work as a developer at Khan, which is also located in Mountain View, Calif.

For more, view the slideshow here.