Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

Uncertainty about convention center hotel could cost Portland an NBA All-Star Game

The Latest
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
463545460BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

NBA commissioner: "I would love to end up having an All-Star Game in Portland. It's really just a function of ensuring that we can fit in town."


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


Read more...

2015 100 Best companies announced

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 0022cneditBY OB STAFF

The 100 Best list recognizes large, medium and small companies for excellence in work environment, management and communications, decision-making and trust, career development and learning, and benefits and compensation.


Read more...

10 quotes explaining crisis at Port of Portland

The Latest
Friday, February 20, 2015
022015 port portland OBM-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The ongoing labor disputes at the Port of Portland came to a head two weeks ago when Hanjin, the container port's largest client, notified its customers it would be ending its direct route to Oregon.


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

How a Utah-based essential oils company cornered the Oregon market

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Multilevel marketing, health claims and zyto scanner biofeedback machines: How dōTERRA thrives in Oregon. 


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