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 17,084.49 33.74 0.20%
Nasdaq 4,830.47 19.68 0.41%
S&P 500 2,014.89 1.46 0.07%
Treasuries 2.10 -0.01 -0.43%
Data as of 3:50am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Alcoa Inc 10.26 -0.75 -6.81%
Bank of America Corp... 15.58 -0.17 -1.08%
Apple Inc 112.12 2.62 2.39%
EMC Corp 27.86 0.68 2.50%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 13.49 0.03 0.22%
Data as of Oct 9


Michael Dell is on the verge of the biggest tech deal ever. But he needs to raise a ton of debt before the market's next freakout. More

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer told CNN International anchor Richard Quest that concern's about China's slowdown is pushing back the Fed's decision to raise rates. More

Elon Musk recently called Apple a "Tesla graveyard" that hires all the employees he's fired. But now he says he doesn't hate Apple. More

Yes, the new chip-enabled credit cards are more safe than what used to be in our wallets. But they aren't bullet-proof against fraud. More