Jobs, Schmidt Role Changes Leave Questions at Apple, Google
Google's Eric Schmidt and Apple's Steve Jobs both stepped down in 2011. Which company is better positioned? On paper it's Apple, but this isn't a paper game. Both companies are vulnerable.Only in Silicon Valley, which teems with technology talent, can the loss of CEOs from the region's two most powerful companies be weathered so well.
That is exactly what happened this year with the shuttling of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to the executive chairman role in April and the shocking, yet ultimately expected resignation of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs from the company he helped build and restore to unimaginable glory.
Page redeemed himself with Wall Street by chatting more on the Q2 call in July. He also scored points by cutting several Google products that were languishing, including Google Health, PowerMeter, Google Labs, Slide and several more Web services. That's money and sources spent elsewhere to keep the Google money machine running; the company has nearly $40 billion in the bank. But Page's return to power may be more notable for what Google did to fortify its position. Google launched its Google+ social network and made a bold bid for Android OEM Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI). There is no guarantee federal regulators will bless that bid, but Page gets points for moving fast and aggressively to shore up Android's patent portfolio poorness. Perhaps in later years, Wired's Steven Levy, The New Yorker's Ken Auletta, or some other author of a renowned book on Google will pen a follow-up divulging the ins and outs of Schmidt's migration to executive chairman. For now, pundits are left to surmise, based on Schmidt's own comments and Google's delivery of Google+, that Schmidt was shunted aside for failing to move the needle for Google in social versus Facebook.