Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Wael Ghonim to leave Google, start NGO in Egypt

wael ghonimWael Ghonim has said Egyptian state security kept him detained and blindfolded for nearly two weeks. By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who shot to international prominence after being detained for 10 days in Egypt, is leaving the search company to start his own venture.

Ghonim tweeted on Saturday: "Decided to take a long term sabbatical from @Google & start a technology focused NGO to help fight poverty & foster education in #Egypt"

As protests broke out in January on the Egyptian streets over the rule of then-president Hosni Mubarak, Ghonim fired off a steady stream of messages to Twitter and Facebook about the uprising. He also worked behind the scenes to galvanize the uprising.

"The plan was to get everyone on the street," he told CNN's Ivan Watson in an interview after his release. "This is the Internet revolution. I'll call it revolution 2.0."

Ghonim's sudden disappearance had his friends and family -- and, soon, the whole world -- fearing for his safety. Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) posted many tweets in his support, and assured Ghonim that his job with the company would be there when we was ready to return.

Soon after his release, Ghonim tweeted a "thank you" to Google for its aid: "Thanks @Google for all the efforts you did in 'searching' for me. Today 'I'm feeling lucky' that I work for this company."

Though he tweeted "Please don't make me the face of this revolution," Ghonim became a symbol of the uprising after his disappearance. He was named last week to Time magazine's 100 most influential people of the year. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,454.30 -48.69 -0.26%
Nasdaq 5,222.99 -9.34 -0.18%
S&P 500 2,176.12 -4.26 -0.20%
Treasuries 1.57 0.00 0.26%
Data as of 1:02am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.19 0.08 0.47%
EMC Corp 28.99 0.32 1.12%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.51 0.07 1.09%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.56 -0.42 -3.83%
Ford Motor Co 12.55 0.08 0.64%
Data as of Aug 30
Sponsors

Sections

Martin Shkreli, the reviled drug company CEO who faces federal criminal charges, nearly doubled his $3 million investment in KaloBios. More

Donald Trump has said he doesn't want to touch Social Security or other entitlements. And his campaign says he'd "protect" it. But a key economic adviser thinks the candidate 'might do something different' if he's elected 'because you have to do something different.' More

Uber has hired on Jeff Jones, formerly chief marketing officer of Target, to serve as president of the company. More

With a veto from Gov. Chris Christie, the "Fight for $15" was dealt a setback in New Jersey. But legislators may sidestep Christie and put the question directly to voters in 2017 as to whether they would like to increase the state's minimum wage to $15. More