Google loosens lips (a little)

| Print |  Email
Saturday, September 01, 2007

GoogleDalles.jpg

THE DALLES When last we tried to speak with a real live human at the Google server plant in The Dalles, the closest we could get was an e-mail exchange with a corporate type in the Mountain View, Calif., HQ. But the hyper-secrecy surrounding the much-ballyhooed plant has receded a bit, and if Ken Patchett has anything to do with it, the frost will thaw even more.

“Corporate knew they didn’t do the best job they could have done here,” says Patchett, Google’s plant manager. “We learned that to protect your intellectual asset doesn’t mean you need to be a ghost in the community.”

The Dalles leaders and local and national media (us included) poked quite a bit of fun at Google for the secrecy they required. It backfired some, says Patchett. “We realized that we have a responsibility to be a part of the community.”

So Patchett, 38, is on a tear of community love, including getting the company to join the local chamber of commerce, man a booth at the cherry festival, find computers for a senior center, wire up a local park stage for summer entertainment and encourage employees to volunteer on company time. Just for starters. He’s also proud that of the almost 200 people employed by the plant, 70% of them come from within a four-hour drive, including “lots of OSU grads.”

Patchett left a Microsoft job in Washington to join Google in December. He’s talkative, friendly, loves the Gorge and has two dogs, four boys and a wife who’s hoping for a fifth. We don’t sense  the indigenous paranoia common to Silicon Valley types.

“When I got to Google,” says Patchett, “it was way too much cloak and dagger for me.”          

ROBIN DOUSSARD


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Crowdfunding 2.0

News
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.


Read more...

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


Read more...

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Read more...

4 married couples who work together

The Latest
Thursday, January 22, 2015
IMG 0020BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

They say maintaining a healthy marriage takes work. So does running a business with your spouse.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS