Conspiracy theorists believe the departure of Jonathan Rosenberg, Google senior vice president for product management, the same day company co-founder Larry Page assumed the CEO role is more than just an amicable coincidence.
Skeptics believe Rosenberg's exit is tied to the fact that Page is rumored to have overhauled and streamlined the management structure to have product managers work independently and report directly to him. YouTube, Android and Google's new Slide unit function as fairly autonomous units.
This would seem to leave little room for the role assumed by Rosenberg, who served as a sort of buffer between product managers and Google CEO-turned executive chairman Eric Schmidt since he joined the company in 2002.
A person with knowledge of Google's management situation said Rosenberg's exit is related to the change in management structure. However, it's not because Page is squeezing him out, the source told eWEEK.
Page, who vowed along with Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin to stay at Google until 2024, wants his senior executives to make multi-year commitments to remain at the company.
Rosenberg was unable to make this commitment because he had planned to leave Google when his daughter leaves for college in 2013. Rosenberg, who sent out a letter explaining his position to Google employees Monday, corroborated this story in an interview with the MercuryNews.com.
"Larry is going to have to decide how he wants to handle the responsibilities that [Rosenberg] has been doing for the last nine years," the source told eWEEK.
Rosenberg will to take time off this summer before returning to Google in a consulting role. He is also co-authoring a book with Schmidt about Google's management culture, which will, no doubt, be one of the most anticipated works about Google, following a raft of Google-geared tomes written by high-profile authors such as Ken Auletta.
Rosenberg was certainly one of the more passionate Google managers who knew what those interested in Google wanted to hear.
When Schmidt ceased participating in quarterly earnings calls last year, it was Rosenberg who provided the company product outlook spiel to financial analysts.
It was Rosenberg who told analysts on the company's third-quarter earnings call last October that Google's display-ad and mobile-search-ad run rates hit $2.5 billion and $1 billion a year, respectively.
Publicly, Schmidt and Page have nothing but praise for Rosenberg. Schmidt said: "Jonathan is phenomenal-hugely energetic, strategic, a man of real principle who always puts the user first. He's been crucial to our success over the last nine years and I cannot thank him enough for everything he's done. It's been wonderful working with him-and great fun."
Page chimed in: "We tried to hire Jonathan multiple times because he was the only person we could imagine doing the job. It's lucky we were so persistent because he's built an amazing team-hiring great people, who've created amazing products that have benefited over a billion users around the world."