The majority of Steve Jobs’ wealth did not come from Apple stock. It came from Disney stock, which he got after the sale of Pixar. Jobs actually owned a relatively small percentage of Apple when compared to other company founders. (Which is because he sold all but one share when he was booted from the company in the 80s and was only granted new options over time when he came back.) Despite this relatively “weak” position, Jobs was clearly in full control of Apple.
But the Google guys must be looking at Facebook about to go public and seeing how much control Mark Zuckerberg will retain even after the IPO. He planned better. With seemingly every move Google makes now increasingly criticized from the outside, the thought of losing control of the company must scare the crap out of everyone there.
I think that fear is fair. And I think Google will be in a better position to avoid the pitfalls that larger companies often fall into if the founders can retain voting control. Not everyone is Steve Jobs.
The problem is the way Google is ensuring that the founders maintain this control. It sure seems shady, if not exactly “evil”.