03/21/2014 09:35 am ET Updated Mar 21, 2014

Google Co-Founder Reveals Who He'd Leave His Fortune To


Considering he has a cool $32 billion to his name, Google co-founder Larry Page could easily make a dent in solving some of the world’s most plaguing problems. But he's not going about it in the traditional charitable route.

In fact, when it comes to bequeathing his fortune he’d like to fork it over to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and co-founder of SpaceX and Solar City.

During an interview with Charlie Rose on Wednesday at the TED2014 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, the two covered a breadth of topics, including the direction of Google, driver-less cars and philosophies for success.

But when Rose questioned Page about a comment he once made about giving his money to Musk, the mogul didn’t renege on the offer.

"[Musk] wants to go to Mars. That’s a worthy goal," Page told Rose, according to the TED blog. "We have a lot of employees at Google who’ve become pretty wealthy. You’re working because you want to change the world and make it better; if the company you work for is worthy of your time, why not your money as well?"

Page said that well-run corporations have the potential to serve as the "agents of change" this world needs.

"Most people think corporations are basically evil. They get a bad rap. And that’s somewhat correct, if companies are doing the same incremental things they did 20 years ago," Page said. "But that’s not really what we need. Especially in tech, we need revolutionary change, not incremental change."

Page has long had a reputation for eschewing the Bill Gates route when it comes to charity.

In its recent ranking of the most giving tech leaders, Insider Philanthropy relegated Page to its list of the six least generous. He was joined by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Page has an eponymous foundation with assets of more than a half billion dollars. But the only gift the organization gave in 2012 was $29 million, and went to a donor-advised fund, making it virtually impossible to track where Page's money is actually going, according to Insider Philanthropy.

To his credit, Page sits on a number of nonprofit boards, appears to channel his giving primarily through Google and focuses his efforts on technological advancement -- specifically the clean energy sector.

Still, experts remain skeptical of how effective his philanthropic initiatives actually are.

"If this Google co-founder … has a secret philanthropic life, we'd love to know about it," Inside Philanthropy wrote. "Because right now it looks like he's a big cheerleader for Google's philanthropic and social endeavors, while kicking the can down the road in terms of engaging in his own serious philanthropy."

h/t Business Insider



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