Vatican City, Oct 31, 2013 / 06:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The previous head of one of the internet’s leading online search engines travelled to Rome in order to be received into the universal Church, expressing his joy at joining the family of faith.
“I’m in Rome to become Catholic,” Richard Riley told CNA in an Oct. 28 interview, “I was married in the Catholic Church 13 years ago, I have four children who were baptized in the Catholic Church and I really wanted to join the family and be unified in faith.”
Riley previously led Yahoo!’s American division, the internet company’s largest unit, most recently heading the regions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
He left the company after having worked with them for 13 years upon his promotion earlier this year to take the helm as CEO of a rapidly growing British mobile application called “Shazam,” which currently has over 325 million users all over the world.
When asked what he found in the Catholic Church that he hadn’t found elsewhere, Riley stated that “There's so much history and tradition.”
Emphasizing how his wife is Italian, Riley noted that “of course Catholicism's been a big part” of their lives, and that “the family and brotherhood of the Church” is something “unique and really special.”
The internet exec, who travelled to Italy for the event of his Confirmation, revealed that he is “starting to” feel at home in the Church, especially being in Rome, which he described as “a spectacular place.”
“It's breathtaking, and every time you come it's just absolute amazement, and I'm feeling more and more comfortable,” he stressed, noting that having been on his mayor’s advisory council, he has been to the Vatican “a few times, and I look forward to coming back frequently.”
“I think the empathy alone and the greater cause and good will absolutely make me and others a better leader.”
The new CEO also shared his positive impressions Pope Francis, whose young pontificate he described as “impressive, in terms of a focus on the poor, and people who are really needy in the world.”
Pope Francis, he stressed, makes sure “that all of us think more about them and their needs, rather than our own and material needs,” emphasizing how he believes that the pontiff has “really woken up parts of the world to some very special issues.”
Referencing his hopes for the future within his new position, Riley expressed his desire to “make Shazam as great a company as we can make it, and see where that takes us.”