Wael Ghonim Leaving Google To Help With Egypt's Reorganization

Wael Ghonim, the Google Middle East employee who was detained during the revolt in Egypt announced he will be taking a long-term leave of absence from the company to start a non-governmental organization in Egypt, Wired reported.

Ghonim became a rallying point during the protests in Tahir Square after he was detained, and his subsequent release foreshadowed the stepping down of the despotic Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Ghonim was praised for his efforts in the fight for freedom in Egypt, including being named by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 influential people in the world. He spoke at the TED conference just weeks after his release and detailed the impact of social media and the web in the revolution.

Time reported:

Wael Ghonim embodies the youth who constitute the majority of Egyptian society -- a young man who excelled and became a Google executive but, as with many of his generation, remained apolitical due to loss of hope that things could change in a society permeated for decades with a culture of fear.

Over the past few years, Wael, 30, began working outside the box to make his peers understand that only their unstoppable people power could effect real change. He quickly grasped that social media, notably Facebook, were emerging as the most powerful communication tools to mobilize and develop ideas.

By emphasizing that the regime would listen only when citizens exercised their right of peaceful demonstration and civil disobedience, Wael helped initiate a call for a peaceful revolution.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.