Page Retakes the Reins at Google

Larry Page is to become CEO of Google, replacing Eric Schmidt, who becomes executive chairman. The move is being seen as an attempt on Google’s part to re-energise the company, which over the past couple of years, has arguably become more corporate and less entrepreneurial.

Schmidt was brought in to run Google as CEO in 2001 to satisfy investors’ demands for a more senior businessman to take charge of day-to-day affairs. Page is one of the company’s two co-founders, and, Google will argue, has now amassed enough experience to equip him for the CEO’s role.

In a blog post, Schmidt says: “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…But as Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated…over the holidays we decided now was the right moment to make some changes to the way we are structured.”

In his new role, which he takes up on 4 April, Page will lead product development and technology strategy, in addition to taking charge of day-to-day operations. Co-founder Sergey Brin will concentrate on strategic projects, in particular working on new products. Schmidt will focus on: “deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership”, while also acting as an advisor to Page and Brin.

The news came as Google announced Q4 profits of $2.54bn (£1.6bn) on revenues of $8.44bn. Profits were 29 per cent up on the Q4, 2009 figure of $1.97bn.