Google Inc. is an American public corporation, earning revenue from advertising related to its Internet search, e-mail, online mapping, office productivity, social networking, and video sharing services as well as selling advertising-free versions of the same technologies. The Google headquarters, the Googleplex, is located in Mountain View, California. As of 30 September 2008 the company has 20,123 full-time employees.
Google was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University and the company was first incorporated as a privately held company on 4 September 1998. The initial public offering took place on 19 August 2004, raising US$1.67 billion, making it worth US$23 billion. Google has continued its growth through a series of new product developments, acquisitions, andpartnerships. Environmentalism, philanthropy, and positive employee relations have been important tenets during the growth of Google, the latter resulting in being identified multiple times as Fortune Magazine’s #1 Best Place to Work. The unofficial company slogan is “Don’t be evil”, although criticism of Google includes concerns regarding the privacy of personal information, copyright, censorship and discontinuation of services. According to Millward Brown it is the most powerful brand in the world.