Schmidt Gets Google-Y Eyed

Eric Schmidt is such a huge fan of Google that he's decided to run the company.

Eric Schmidt is such a huge fan of Google that hes decided to run the company.

Google picked Schmidt as its CEO, after hunting for almost two years. He comes to the search engine company after four years as CEO of Novell, where some observers criticized him for weakening Novells position in the networking software market.

For now, Schmidt will be under much less pressure at privately held Google, perhaps the Internets most widely used search provider, which handles as many as 100 million queries daily. Schmidt, 46, will be a coach and mentor to Google founders Larry Page, 28, and Sergey Brin, 27. Hes already acquainted with them: In March, Schmidt became Googles chairman. He also made a "significant" personal investment in the company. "I just liked the company," he said. "Its as simple as that."

Schmidt eventually expects to take the 230-employee company public, though that wont happen soon. But even with the general downturn in Net advertising, Google — which generates two-thirds of its revenue from ads — was profitable in the last two quarters, Schmidt said. Future revenue streams might include subscription fees for advanced search services, he said.

Schmidt plans to stay the course at Google. "This is a technology company; Im first and foremost a technologist," he said. "The company made a decision some time ago to not become a portal."

But as Google cultivates itself as a search destination, it could irritate major customers, like Yahoo! "Right now theyre skirting the issue," said Rob Lancaster, a Yankee Group analyst. "It will become an issue that they will have to address."