SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is considering setting up its own venture capital investment arm, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday, citing several people briefed on the discussions.
David Drummond, the Internet search leader's senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, would lead the investment business, the Journal said. Google has hired William Maris, a former Web hosting entrepreneur, to help set up the unit, the paper said.
A Google spokesman confirmed that Maris has been hired but declined to comment further.
A source familiar with the company's thinking told Reuters that any decision to move ahead with a venture capital unit was in very preliminary stages and that no firm decisions had been taken.
According to a 2005 posting on Global Envision, a humanitarian aid site, Maris worked as a partner with Anne Wojcicki in a health investment fund called Catalytic Health. Last year Wojcicki married Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Maris created his own Web hosting company called Burlee.com, which is now part of Atlanta-based Web.com. He also made investments in technology companies for Sweden's wealthy Wallenberg family, according to the Global Envision site.
(Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Greg Mahlich)