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Google Finance, Govt, Policy and Business Issues Forum

Schmidt to be chairman, Larry Page now CEO

 9:10 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just caught this on CNBC, link to follow.

Google co-founder Larry Page is taking over as CEO of the Internet search leader in April.

He will over the job from Eric Schmidt, who has been CEO for the past decade. When the change is made Schmidt will become executive chairman.
Page, 37, is reclaiming the top job from Eric Schmidt, who had been brought in as CEO a decade ago because Google's investors believed the company needed a more mature leader.

Schmidt, 55, will remain an adviser to Page and Google's other co-founder, Sergey Brin, as Google's executive chairman.

The changes will be effective April 4.

"In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I'm excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come," Schmidt said.

Page praised Schmidt, too. "There is no other CEO in the world that could have kept such headstrong founders so deeply involved and still run the business so brilliantly," Page said.




 9:21 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

And, at CNBC: [cnbc.com...]

Plus, an in-depth explanation from Schmidt himself:


 9:37 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Will be interesting to see how the battle with Facebook shapes up under the new CEO.


 9:48 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree, iThink. The business pundits seem to think the Facebook challenge is the biggest reason for the changes, and that Google is hoping for more creativity and innovation under Page.


 11:52 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google is hoping for more creativity and innovation under Page.

These guys have failed at many ventures already, but they use the throw it on the wall and see what sticks approach.

Perhaps their most billiant venture was andriod, which is an Apple killer. By controlling the operating systems on internet connected devices, they can be sure that their ads will display. Brilliant.


 1:01 am on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

ok now that the scary guy is not directly behind the wheel anymore....will goog get less evil? Or will page hold the course straight into the fiery pits!


 3:30 am on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

ok now that the scary guy is not directly behind the wheel anymore....will goog get less evil? Or will page hold the course straight into the fiery pits!
Good question.

Most people have a difficult time understanding that Google is not about the money with Page and Brin. It's about being the best, about innovation, about having people say "wow" or "cool." Perhaps Schmidt was just not enough fun.

I am one of those who believe that Google is far away from being evil, although I'm not the fan I was a few years ago.

Google is always very, very interesting. Hard to see it being more interesting than it has been. But, I'd predict Google will not become less interesting.


 5:42 am on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

my .02: Google made many mistakes over the last year.

- While android has been popular, Google has failed (yet) to monetize the system in any major way. (app store... barely treads water)
- Look and feel of SERPs has been constantly changing, with little effect on the Google bottom line. [webmasterworld.com...]
- Instant was not received as highly as they wanted.
- Inability to retain major talent. Bleeding quality employees to Facebook daily.
- Googles 2008-2010 biz purchases and startups have been a who's-who of failures (dodgeball, wave, buzz etal)
- Total failure at creating anything remotely popular in the social space.
- GoogleTV? How long before this is shuttered as failure?
- A daily declining relevance to Facebook, Apple, and even Microsoft.
- Google is no longer *cool*.

When you rank success in Billions like Google does, the last two years and have been a failure for Google. It was either kick Eric upstairs or out to the curb.

I think it is great to put one of the founders in charge, but did they pick the right one? The strange part to me, is that Larry just bought a $45 million dollar yacht [gawker.com]. I thought he was getting ready to sail off into the sunset. I was expecting his resignation any day and for him to leave Brin in charge.

Of the 2 founders, Brin clearly cleans up better and is more presentable. Larry - an unabashed introvert - can barely get through an interview without a stumble. Larry can't be the full public face of Google. Unless they continue to keep him locked away from the press, we are in for some George Bush like misquotes and painfully awkward moments. It should be interesting, but I worry about our future as an industry with Larry Page at the head of Google. Nothing we have seen publicly from Larry Page in the last five years, gives any indication what-so-ever, that he is ready to lead the webs top producing site that we all depend on for our livelihood. My only hope, is that while they have had Page sequestered for the last 10 years, he has used those years to work on his public presentation.


 5:56 am on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Mistakes? Yes there were many but I'd say this is what happens when the CEO admits to pushing the creepy line. I'm not a fan of change just for the sake of change, even if it's to boost pr about public privacy concerns.

To me a sideways move says something else is going on behind the scenes. Time will tell.

From Eric -
We love Google—our people, our products and most of all the opportunity we have to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

I REALLY wish he'd added "who want our help" to that, somewhere.


 12:42 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Schmidt tweeted, "Adult supervision no longer required." There may be some element of truth in that, although the Wall Street Journal reports that some insiders say there had been more friction lately between Page and Schmidt. Other insiders deny that. Overall, the WSJ story provides deeper background than some of the coverage: [online.wsj.com...] (login may be needed)

While I wouldn't compare Schmidt's outstanding performance to Sculley's slide at Apple, I do see a parallel to that situation. A product guy is more likely to spark innovation than a business guy. Page is not a charismatic icon like Steve Jobs, but maybe he can push through some fresh approaches now that he's more clearly the boss.


 1:57 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree brett, i think their main problem was trying to be everything they aren't. I'm just kinda guessing its because of schmidt, he seemed to have an axe to grind with everyone, apple, microsoft....even the normal net user, he was riding a train full of cash and just started burning it in an war that isn't win-able.

just be a search engine goog, you are the worlds biggest advertising platform, you aren't the worlds OS, you aren't the worlds data source.... you aren't the worlds solution to every single problem. Heads up, bing/yahoo are eatting at the only thing that makes you money....search, keep focusing on all that other stuff and you'll have the rug pulled right out from under you!


 3:34 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

^ well said. But I doubt this behemoth will slim down. These companies just love to expand and expand and expand as much as possible.


 4:11 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Did Page (a known liberal) has a brother-in-law that is a hyper active and well known conservative:

4. His wife has a connection to the Bush family
In 2007 Page married fellow Stanford alum Lucinda "Lucy" Southworth in a lavish affair on a private Caribbean island owned by Richard Branson. Lucy's sister Carrie is married to Coddy Johnson, who was the national field director for George W. Bush's 2004 campaign. [aolnews.com...]


 5:23 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

>Page is not a charismatic icon like Steve Jobs

And time will tell whether he has SJ's business savvy, which he has continually exhibited since his return to Apple. Just look at what has happened to Apple's stock value, and to surpass Microsoft in terms of capitalization (over $300 billion, second only to Exxon) has to be a source of tremendous satisfaction to SJ. He will be long studied in business school as an example of a brilliant CEO ~ tech or otherwise.

Under Schmidt, Google's stock value also rose and as a publicly traded company, THAT is what will matter during this transition. So if the bottom line continues to expand, Page will be heralded; if it shrinks, no matter how well he fits the Google "alternative" image, they'll anounce that he's going off in his yacht.

The idea of a founder coming back to take charge has a certain media PR value, but to the bean counters / stock holders, the ONLY thing that will matter is if he makes money. Hopefully the innovations he inspires will return Google to its former sense of wonder for the masses, and do it with an acceptable level of profit for Wall Street. In that sense he's in a tough position ~ time will tell if he's a new beginning, or at the beginning of the slide. If the latter, Schmidt may have the last laugh.



 10:32 pm on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I liked Google a lot better before Schmidt came along. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Maybe they'll be a little more friendly, improve support, come back to the conference circuits?


 11:38 am on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

The idea of a founder coming back to take charge has a certain media PR value, but to the bean counters / stock holders, the ONLY thing that will matter is if he makes money.

You're right, remember what happened to Yahoo.


 5:20 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

One thing to keep in mind is that Page and Brin jointly control the company because their stock has super voting rights. So, the opinions of Wall Street analysts and stockholders won't count as much as with most public companies we are familiar with. If Brin likes the way things are going with Page as CEO, it might not matter very much what Wall Street or anyone else thinks about how things are going.

I don't think they are going to be focused on short term earnings growth as much as most public companies -- instead, I think they want to do exciting and interesting things technically, to overcome the perception they are "has beens" (vis a vis Twitter, Facebook etc.), and prove they are capable of creating some big, important things besides the world's most successful search engine.


 5:31 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Page and Brin may have control, but I'm sure they don't want the stock to tank. That would not only affect them (maybe a billion or two is no big deal), but employees, friends, and lots of shareholders.

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