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Inside Silicon Valley Millionaire Divorce

Hassan is not a common name, like Brin and Larry Page, the men believed to have started Google. But without Hassan’s contribution, Google could have been nothing more than a computer science project at Stanford University.

He was a research assistant at Stanford University’s School of Computer Science, and when he met Page, a PhD candidate, he became a resident programmer for many PhD students. He rewrote the slow web crawler code that Page created to understand the relationships between links on different websites. He also worked with Brin to build a search engine and eventually became Google.

When Page and Brin founded Google in 1998, Hassan bought 160,000 shares for $ 800. When Google went public in 2004, the stock was worth more than $ 200 million. The shares of Alphabet, Google’s parent company today, are worth more than $ 13 billion today.

Scott Hassan worked with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the early days to help build a search engine.credit:Bloomberg

Hassan had never worked for Google, but was one of the founders of a company called eGroups, which was sold to Yahoo in 2000 with a $ 432 million stake. He also launched two robotics companies.

Hassan met Finn in 2000 in Stanford through mutual friends. She emigrated from Vietnam to the United States after the war and attended Stanford on a scholarship. Finn said he dropped out a few years before meeting Hassan to pursue opportunities during the dot-com boom. She worked as a consultant and web developer, building websites for clients such as Wells Fargo.

In 2001, five days before Christmas, they got married in the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas. There was no discussion about prenuptial agreements and they had little discussion about finances, they both said.

Huynh said she provided financial support to her family early on. Hassan was in debt of $ 60,000 and often paid for food, travel and entertainment, including the engagement party attended by Page and Brin.

Hassan said it wasn’t true and he was financially safe and debt-free by the time they got married. In addition to Google shares, which was still a speculative investment at the time, he owned a home in San Francisco, Yahoo shares (which lost much of its value after the sale of the company) and $ 8 million in Amazon. Stock, he said.

Finn said he had put his career on hold to raise children and support Hassan’s business. Money problems arose four years after their marriage, around the second birthday of their eldest daughter.

Less than a year after Google went public, Hassan offered a deal in exchange for abandoning future claims for marriage assets. Hassan provided Huin with $ 20 million in Google shares (less than 10% of his shares) and half of the three Bay Area real estate properties (Palo Alto and San Francisco residential and Menlo Park commercial buildings). She felt blind and hurt. She refused.

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Hassan said he had proposed an agreement to share some of the newly found wealth.

Later that year, they moved to a larger Palo Alto home in one of the city’s wealthiest districts. Huynh lives in a 7,500-square-foot home and lives in Redfin with $ 20 million worth of children.

Still, Finn said there were few signs that Hassan was unhappy. However, in 2014, while on a business trip to MyDream, a virtual reality company she started in 2011, she received a text message from Hassan informing her that her marriage was over and he was moving.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I kept telling him,’I’m kidding.'”

Hassan said it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to her. He said they had a big fight a few days ago when she mistakenly accused him of being unfaithful in front of their children. She said she had never accused him of cheating, but questioned his whereabouts while away from home for a long time.

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998, Scott Hassan bought 160,000 shares for $ 800. When Google went public in 2004, the stock was worth more than $ 200 million. The shares of Alphabet, Google’s parent company today, are worth more than $ 13 billion today.

After several counseling attempts, I separated in January 2015.

The couple officially ended their marriage in May 2020 and agreed to co-custody their three teenage children.

Next week’s trial is part of a legal process drawn to split real estate and resolve other financial issues, including spouse and child support. California is one of nine states where assets acquired during marriage are evenly divided by divorce.

As the trial approached, the feud went in a tougher direction. This month, Huynh found the website allisonhuynh.com with her photos, links to social media accounts, and news reports about her. It also included legal documents about her 20 years ago, which were no longer available online and contained details about past relationships.

The website hid the identity of the person behind it. However, Huynh eventually discovered that someone named Scott Wendell had uploaded a legal document. Wendell is Hassan’s middle name.

Hassan admitted that Finn and her lawyer were “one-sided” to the press, so he created the site “at the moment of frustration.” “I understand that this wasn’t the right way to do this, and it only made our controversy more public and tense,” he wrote in an email. Times.. Hassan said he had deleted the site.

Huynh, who earned a degree from Stanford University last year, got her reputation when the website was about to launch a new business, such as the mobile game Adoraboos, which aims to teach kids about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Said that he may have hurt.

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Hassan said they disagreed with fairness, but believed that his ex-wife would get nothing.

“There is no doubt that we will embark on a resolution to make her a woman of generational wealth,” Hassan wrote.

New York Times

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Inside Silicon Valley Millionaire Divorce

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