The week seemed to start off on a triumphant note for hot Silicon Valley start-up Dropbox. The company held a media event Wednesday to unveil a slew of new applications designed to demonstrate its expanding vision as it marches closer to an anticipated initial public offering.
But the week is ending in controversy over this announcement: Dropbox added Condeelezza Rice to its board.
"When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint," co-founder Drew Houston wrote on the company's blog. "Dr. Rice has had an illustrious career as provost of Stanford University, board member of companies like Hewlett-Packard and Charles Schwab, and former United States secretary of State. We’re honored to be adding someone as brilliant and accomplished as Dr. Rice to our team."
The decision to add Rice, who was secretary of State and national security advisor under President George W. Bush, prompted hundreds of often heated comments on the blog. And it triggered a campaign called Drop Dropbox.
"Choosing Condoleezza Rice for Dropbox's board is problematic on a number of deeper levels, and invites serious concerns about Drew Houston and the senior leadership at Dropbox's commitment to freedom, openness, and ethics," organizers wrote on the protest website. "When a company quite literally has access to all of your data, ethics become more than a fun thought experiment."