The other PRGomez has left us

Yes, there was another one. PRGomez is short for Paco Ruiz Gomez, and there was a Paco Ruiz Antón, pictured at left, who was director of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google, in Europe. Cancer finally got the best of him, and he has departed for the other world at only 53. Read on for a different take on this great guy.

It’s a bit of a shock when you meet someone whose name is the same as yours (or almost: close friends usually called him “Fran,” especially when I was around), but we clicked right away. Lots of things in common: name, working in the cyber sector, family from southern Spain, interest in God. He joined Google because he loved their “do no evil” gospel (since disavowed by the company), and he defended them valiantly during a time when most European governments were ganging up on them on account of their handling of users’ private data. He lost most of those battles, but put a good face on it. He also put a good face on his illness: you’d never know, and I didn’t either.

If you’re curious, here’s an article in English. You can find a number of them in Spanish (Google it ;-). And here’s a video of a presentation he gave (in Spanish, but it gives you a good feel for the man). His English was actually quite good. Most of our conversations were in English.

I believe he’s in Heaven. I’m going to pray to him for Internet-related things, especially for supernatural help in my relations with Google, which could have been more cordial. You may want to give it a try too, it can’t harm.

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