Stung by recent criticism of the companys actions in recent months, Google CEO Eric Schmidt held a roundtable lunch March 16 with a number of journalists in which he talked a lot about the company, how it is perceived and where it is headed.
Schmidt said he was in New York to sign the previously announced deal with Time Warner and to review the companys operations in the city, which has grown to include about 500 employees.
While Schmidt did not unveil any specific new initiatives or make any financial predictions, he said that “the answer to being seen as secretive is to be more open.”
China and Censorship
Schmidt was most animated in discussing the controversy over its deleting some content at the request of the Chinese government.
He said the decision of how to act in China was “one of the most controversial decisions the company has ever made,” and it took over a year of internal arguments before the company came out with its policies.
“It is a hard call, but it is a clear call” to do business in China, he said, and do as the Chinese government requires it to.
Overall he said, the advertising industry in china is quite nascent, so there are very small amounts of revenue at stake, but what is more important is giving the Chinese people access to as much information as possible as quickly as possible.