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"I do want to reiterate to you: We are very careful stewards of shareholder money," Page said at one point. "We started as a startup in a garage, and we are very, very careful about our spending. I was scared to hire an office manager because I thought it was too expensive. So we have that culture and that history, and we're very committed to that."
Words like that had to be catnip for Wall Street. Page made only a perfunctory appearance as Google reported its first-quarter financial results in April, and failed to address Wall Street's concerns about Google's jump in spending as it bestowed a 10 percent pay raise on all workers and launched what is expected to be the most aggressive hiring year in its history. The next day, Google's stock plummeted nearly $48, or 8 percent.
That decline was the worst day for Google's stock in a dismal four-month run that has seen a 16 percent, or $99, decline in the company's stock price since the Jan. 20 announcement that Page would replace Schmidt as Google's CEO. Google stock closed at $528.06 Thursday.