Google manager talks ethics at local business forum

Mike Wooten, operations manager at Google’s data center in Pryor, speaks Thursday at the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton downtown.
Mike Wooten, operations manager at Google’s data center in Pryor, speaks Thursday at the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton downtown.

To illustrate the urgency at which information travels, Google’s Mike Wooten revealed the results of an app that measures what happens online in one second.

So by the end of his 41-minute address at the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium luncheon, 14 billion emails and 39 million Tweets had hurtled through cyberspace.

“It’s an amazing time to be alive,” he told an audience of about 230 at the DoubleTree by Hilton downtown.

Operations manager at Google’s data center in Pryor, Wooten spoke on ethical considerations for business in the 21st century, touching on other topics such as tips for success and how to navigate change in the workplace. He has worked for the company for nearly 10 years, serving in engineering, project management and operations management roles.

Wooten told the crowd that businesses can experience an “economic renaissance” when the Internet is allowed to reach the masses.

Google, a half-trillion-dollar company, already is experimenting with contact lenses that can measure a person’s glucose level, he said. And the age of self-driving automobiles may not be that far away, an innovation that could save countless lives, he said.

“In 10 years, I don’t want to be driving anymore,” Wooten said. “I hate driving.”

Midway through his talk, the pun-loving Wooten showed a slide of a pair of socks, alluding to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, also known as “Sox.” A response to corporate scandals such as Enron, the federal legislation increased financial reporting oversight for publicly held companies.

“It’s a little scary when people talk about this balance of these controls that we put in place that help level the playing field between investors and businesses and businesses and customers,” Wooten said. “On one side, there is a burdensome bureaucracy, and on the other side, businesses can go out and do what they want. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.”

Wooten also mentioned the fall of Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager who increased fifty-fold the price of a life-saving drug.

“When businesses do things that are unethical, it backfires pretty quick because there’s instant communication with social media,” he said. “Things go viral. …”

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