In January of this year, the now former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, revealed that his days as CEO were numbered. Come April 4, co-founder Larry Page would be stepping up to take his place, and Schmidt would assume the role of advisor to Larry Page and his business partner Sergey Brin. Schmidt would also continue his role as chairman of the company while focusing on external affairs like business deals and government outreach.
Page has spent the last 10 years occupying the role of “president of products” at Google but is no stranger to the role of CEO of Google; the co-founder was CEO for three years before Schmidt was brought on -- a decision prompted by investors’ demands for a more mature leader. However, the company has changed significantly in the years since he last acted as Chief Executive, something Schmidt was all too ready to admit in January.
“When I joined Google in 2001 I never imagined—even in my wildest dreams—that we would get as far, as fast as we have today. Search has quite literally changed people’s lives—increasing the collective sum of the world’s knowledge and revolutionizing advertising in the process,” Schmidt said, adding that the company’s emerging markets, like Google Chrome and Android, were growing a significant pace.
“But as Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated. So Larry, Sergey and I have been talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making.”
While things are vastly different compared to 2001, Page has had a decade to mature and grow into a leader. As for Brin, he’ll be focusing his time and energy on strategic projects, new ones in particular. It’ll be interesting to see where the new Google goes.