Google's 'almost Forgotten Third Founder' In Bitter Legal Battle With Estranged Wife

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Scott Hassan, one of the ‘almost' co-founders of Google, is in the midst of a bitter legal dispute with his estranged wife Allison Huynh over his company.

Written By Kunal Gaurav | Mumbai | Updated On:
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Scott Hassan, one of the “almost forgotten cofounder” of Google, is in the midst of a bitter legal dispute with his estranged wife Allison Huynh. Hassan founded Suitable Technologies which went on to create popular Beam robot used for telepresence at events. But later in August this year, Hassan signed a deal to sell the company to Blue Ocean Robotics for $400,000.

Huynh, an engineer and entrepreneur, accused Hassan of selling the company at a very low price to get a tax write off and her lawyer claimed that the company's assets are estimated to be worth more than $700 million. Huynh and Hassan are embattling one of the longest-running divorce disputes in Silicon Valley history and Hyunh has also sued the latter for breach of fiduciary duties. The suit was filed at a Delaware court where Hyunh’s lawyer reportedly argued that instead of seeking to maximize stockholder value, Hassan, in bad faith and to enrich himself alone, agreed to sell a substantial amount of the company's assets for an infinitesimal fraction of their value.

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While the judge in the case believes the company was worth more than $100 million, Hyunh’s lawyer asserted that it is worth more than $700 million. But the judge refused to order a preliminary injunction stopping the sale of Suitable Technologies, expected to be over this month. However, a San Jose family court judge in their divorce case denied granting approval for the sale of Suitable Technologies. 

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Story of the 'almost forgotten' co-founder

Hassan became friends with Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Google co-founders, and played a key role in creating Google search engine. In the ‘Valley of Genius’, an oral history of Silicon Valley, Hassan recalled sitting down with them and coming up with the idea of building a full search engine. He said that Larry and Sergey thought it was going to be a lot of work but Hassan convinced the duo to build it claiming he knew what exactly was required. Larry and Sergey asked Hassan to stay and become the third co-founder but he rejected the offer thinking they weren’t serious about starting a real business. Hassan purchased 160,000 Google shares for $800 which became worth more than $200 million when the company went public.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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