Tongues wagging over Google love triangle involving employee, co-founder

Ms Rosenberg was reportedly involved with Mr Barra, who has now joined a Chinese smartphone company, and is reportedly seeing Mr Brin (above), who has split from his wife. -- PHOTOS: GOOGLE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ms Rosenberg was reportedly involved with Mr Barra, who has now joined a Chinese smartphone company, and is reportedly seeing Mr Brin (above), who has split from his wife. -- PHOTOS: GOOGLE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ms Rosenberg was reportedly involved with Mr Barra (above), who has now joined a Chinese smartphone company, and is reportedly seeing Mr Brin, who has split from his wife. -- PHOTOS: GOOGLE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ms Rosenberg was reportedly involved with Mr Barra (above), who has now joined a Chinese smartphone company, and is reportedly seeing Mr Brin, who has split from his wife. -- PHOTOS: GOOGLE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ms Rosenberg (above) was reportedly involved with Mr Barra, who has now joined a Chinese smartphone company, and is reportedly seeing Mr Brin, who has split from his wife. -- PHOTOS: GOOGLE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ms Rosenberg (above) was reportedly involved with Mr Barra, who has now joined a Chinese smartphone company, and is reportedly seeing Mr Brin, who has split from his wife. -- PHOTOS: GOOGLE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO - Google the name Amanda Rosenberg and what do you get? Torrid tales of a romance between the 26-year-old British employee of the American Web giant and its multi-billionaire Moscow-born co-founder Sergey Brin.

Click again and find that Mr Brin 40, has split from his wife of six years and Ms Rosenberg reportedly had a romance with another company executive who has just quit to join a Chinese firm.

Now you have a story that has all Google a-goggle. Adding to the gossipy stew are concerns that the relationship between Mr Brin and a Google employee could raise legal issues for the company's businesses and affect its work atmosphere, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Mr Timothy Murphy, regional managing partner of Fisher & Phillips in San Francisco, told the newspaper it could lead to complaints of favouritism.

Ms Rosenberg, who is understood to have an English father and a Hong Kong Chinese mother who is an investment banker, is a marketing manager with Google, according to the Daily Mail.

She moved to San Francisco to join the company last year, where the Mail said she had so few friends at first that she spoke of eating lunch by herself in the toilets. She has a communications degree from Leeds University and worked for Google in London before moving to its Silicon Valley nerve centre.

Mr Brin, who has a personal fortune of US$22 billion (S$28 billion), has been overseeing Google's secretive innovation department Google X, which is behind a number of novel products.

The list includes a self-driving car and Google Glass, the company's computerised spectacles, the Independent reports. Mr Brin championed the wearable tech device and Ms Rosenberg worked with him, the Telegraph said.

In a recent post on her Google Plus account, she claimed that she was responsible for coining the phrase, "OK Glass", which users of Glass intone in order to activate the device.

News of her relationship with Mr Brin coincided with the departure of Mr Hugo Barra, a senior executive for the Android phone operating system in Google. He said on Wednesday that he was leaving the company after five years for Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi.

The Washington Post said Mr Barra had been a visible member of Google's Android team, appearing at public events to present major devices such as Google's Nexus 7 tablet.

A day after Mr Barra's departure came the reports that Mr Brin had parted from his wife, Ms Anne Wojcicki. There was no suggestion that Ms Rosenberg was involved with Mr Brin while he was still with his wife, with whom he has two children, the Telegraph of London said.

The California-based company declined to comment on Mr Brin's break-up other than to confirm that an amicable parting had taken place.

The development was not expected to affect the running of the Internet colossus since the couple was said to have inked a pre-nuptial agreement on how a split would be handled.

Adding to the drama, Ms Wojcicki's sister Susan is a senior Google executive. Mr Brin and co-founder Larry Page started Google in Susan's garage.

According to a New York Post article, Mr Brin will no longer supervise Ms Rosenberg's work. The report quoted a Google spokesman as saying Ms Rosenberg has not been moved.

REUTERS, ASSOCIATED PRESS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE