To expand: Big companies may have the need for very talented particulars, like Peter Norvig, who can drive innovation over big teams and have a very precise mind, and all the humility required. But in the case of Kurzweil, it looks more like he is invited to play the clown and amuse the assistance, than to lead anything concrete.
...it looks more like he is invited
to play the clown and amuse the assistance,
[rather] than to lead [to] anything concrete.
Some great scientists, some ho-hum and some that are there mostly for political or other reasons. I mean Wozniak in 1979? What had he done at that point to be in the same list with Knuth or even Bill Joy?
Since you invoke the list, are we to expect the same great stuff from Kurzweil in Google, as we got from Wozniak post 1979, Richard Stallman past 1990 and Stroustrup past 1993?
Woz was largely responsible for designing the Apple I & Apple II, both of which played a pretty significant part in starting the entire PC industry. Seems like a pretty spectacular achievement to me.