When flacks attack! Marcy Simon vs. Elliot Schrage
CARLSBAD, CA — I'll be unabashed about it: Part of the fun of a conference like D6 are the casual mogul sightings. Look! Barry Diller in a schlumpy brown sweater! Say, isn't that Jeff Bezos chatting up a Googler? But my favorite happenstances are the reunions of frenemies. Take, for example, this chance encounter between Marcy Simon, the former girlfriend of Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Elliot Schrage, the head of Facebook PR. (Sandwiched awkwardly in the middle is Google VP Susan Wojcicki.) Simon and Schrage's back story, and more pictures from the hotel lobby at D6, after the jump.
Schrage, we hear, strongly opposed Simon's hiring as a consultant for the launch of the then-secret Googlephone — the collection of wireless software now known as Android. And Schmidt's extramarital relationships, first with Simon and later with Kate Bohner, were a source of friction between him and Schrage, not because Schrage disapproved, but because it hurt the company's image. Or so I've heard. I've run into Schrage twice at the conference, and he's made noises about talking to me, at which point I'll ask him directly about all this.
That's not the only run-in Schrage and Simon have had, though. Before taking her current gig at Thomson Reuters — one that Thomson Reuters PR staff are not very happy about — Simon made a strong play to take over PR at Facebook. She was not very gently rebuffed, and Schrage landed the job instead.
And yet here we see Schrage, smiling, or faking a smile, as he catches up on email as Simon and Wojcicki catch up. His new bosses at Facebook should be pleased they've hired someone so skilled at putting on appearances.