Is this the Google pay raise leaker?

'Well-placed source close' to search giant identifies fired employee, Gawker reports

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Google fired the person who leaked CEO Eric Schmidt's memo announcing 10 percent pay raises across the board and holiday cash bonuses for employees?

No one in the outside world knew who the terminated employee was, and most of us forgot all about the incident and moved on. But Gawker didn't. The online publication has learned that the leaker in question was Randy Wigginton, an engineer with a long and storied history in Silicon Valley. From Gawker: The saga of Randy Wigginton is long and lively. He was employee number six at Apple. A distinguished engineer at PayPal and eBay. And now word out of Google is that he's been fired there for leaking a raise. A well-placed source close to Google says Wigginton, who created MacWrite and bought chocolate-covered espresso beans for the rest of the original Macintosh team, was the unidentified employee fired earlier this month for sending the press information about a 10 percent raise and holiday cash bonus. Google told its staffers a leaker had been terminated within hours of Business Insider posting news of the raise on November 10. Wigginton is widely believed within the company to be the fired leaker, said the source close to Google. Gawker goes on to piece together the evidence, noting that one day after the leaker was let go, "Wigginton's Wikipedia entry was altered by a fellow Apple and Google alum to say Wigginton previously, rather than presently, worked for Google." OK, as far as ironclad evidence goes, that's a little thin. But wait. There's more! Wigginton (presumably) edited his LinkedIn profile within 10 days of his termination to tell the world he stopped working at Google this month. Gawker goes on to speculate about who Google lowered the boom on such a talented engineer, quoting a Googler who said the leak could have put 20,000 Google employees with cash bonuses in their pockets at the mercy of muggers. (A commenter to my linked post above made the same argument.) As Gawker observes, no such muggings were reported, but from the perspective of a worker suddenly (and publicly) loaded up with cash on a particular day, it still may have been a valid concern. The Google employee who commented to my previous post notes "that our CEO, during the announcement, repeatedly and stridently asked us not to (leak the news) for precisely that reason." In his LinkedIn profile, Wigginton says, "My forte is making things work." Keeping things quiet, perhaps not so much.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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