Dropbox Names Condoleezza Rice To Its Board, Backlash Ensues

April 11, 2014  |  

Condoleezza Rice was the United States Secretary of State. She was also and National Security Advisor. Now she’s a Dropbox board member, making her one of few blacks (and fewer black women) on the board of a major tech company. The cloud file storage and syncing firm made the announcement along with lots of other company news.

Dropbox also launched a number of new products and features, debuting Carousel, a photo storage and sharing service; releasing Dropbox for Business to the general public; and an Android client for its Mailbox email solution, reports TechCrunch.

According to BusinessWeek, there has long been a connection between Dropbox and Rice. Her firm RiceHadleyGates is an active advisor to Dropbox.

Rice will bring much-needed international experience to Dropbox’s board to help it deal with foreign governments, such as China, that have blocked the use of the service. She will also help them maneuver cultural differences as they and develop and promote products in other countries.

Dropbox also announced two more executive changes. Sujay Jaswa comes on as the new CFO and Dennis Woodside has left Google to be Dropbox’s new COO.

Almost immediately, there was backlash to Rice’s appointment, with critics calling for users to dump the Dropbox service because of Rice’s involvement with the Iraq War, secret wiretapping, and other Bush-era policies.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Rice join our board — she brings an incredible amount of experience and insight into international markets and the dynamics that define them. As we continue to expand into new countries, we need that type of insight to help us reach new users and defend their rights. Dr. Rice understands our stance on these issues and fully supports our commitments to our users,” was Dropbox’s response.

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