Tilghman offers to resign from Google position
Though Tilghman said she would like to stay on the Board, it is ultimately the decision of Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page to accept or deny her offer. Nevertheless, Tilghman said the tradition of having members offer up their resignation after leaving their other positions is “good practice.”
“I love being on Google’s Board,” said Tilghman, who serves on the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee and helps identify new Board members. “I support that practice so I’m going to follow it religiously.”
A representative of Google declined to comment on Tilghman’s resignation.
Tilghman said her position serving on Google’s Board has nothing to do with her decision to resign. She first joined the Board of Directors in 2005, one year after Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt ’76 joined the University’s Board of Trustees, and nets over $900,000 from the position.
Schmidt told The Daily Princetonian in 2005 that he chose Tilghman to join the Board because she is a “natural leader” who has a strong academic background in science and technology.
Ever since she joined Google’s Board, Tilghman said she recused herself from all University decisions involving the company in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest. This came to a head this past spring and summer when the University migrated its webmail system over to Gmail, which Tilghman said she was not involved in.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Kathryn Hall ‘80 said Princeton’s Board was never concerned about Tilghman’s affiliation with Google.
“All members of the Board as well as the administration...we are careful about conflicts,” Hall said.
Earlier this month, a New Jersey judge signed a subpoena ordering Tilghman to hand over all correspondence with top executives at Google. The subpoena was part of a suit filed by a real estate company with a minority stake in Google that demanded a greater say in the corporation’s decisions.
Tilghman said the subpoena had nothing to do with her resignation.