Google co-founder Larry Page is taking the mantle of CEO from Eric Schmidt, who will remain as executive chairman. Google also reported revenues of $8.44 billion and a profit of $2.54 billion for the fourth quarter.
Google Jan. 20 said it is streamlining operations, with co-founder Larry
Page taking the role of CEO and moving
current Google CEO Eric Schmidt to the role
of executive chairman.
Google, which also reported revenues
of $8.44 billion and a profit of
$2.54 billion for the fourth quarter, said Page will take over day-to-day
operations from Schmidt on April 4.
Page's responsibilities will include
leading product development and technology strategy.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin will focus on new products.
As executive chairman, Schmidt will focus on deals, partnerships, customers
and broader business relationships, among other things to expand Google's reach
around the world. Schmidt will also continue to act as an adviser to Page and
"We've been talking about how best to simplify our management structure
and speed up decision making for a long time," said Schmidt, who joined
Google as CEO in 2001.
"By clarifying our individual roles, we'll create clearer
responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. 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."
Despite Google's solid results for 2010, Page and Brin may feel Schmidt
isn't adequately addressing the challenges the company faces.
Apple, with its iPhone and iPad, has proved to be a major threat to Google's
designs for mobile computing with Android smartphones and tablets.
Social media has been a sore spot of omission for the company, as social
network giant Facebook has racked up more than 600 million users while Google
is still figuring out its social network plans.
It could be that Page, after receiving a decade of advice on how to guide
Google, is simply ready to take the helm.
Page struck a gracious note in the press statement:
"Eric has clearly done an outstanding job leading Google for the last
decade. The results speak for themselves. 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. Eric is a tremendous leader and I
have learned innumerable lessons from him. His advice and efforts will be
invaluable to me as I start in this new role."
The news will surely cast a pall over the stellar financial results. The
$8.44 billion in Q4 sales are a 26 percent boost from the fourth quarter 2009.
Google's profit grew more than $500 million from the year ago quarter, when it
hit $1.97 billion.