On April 4th, Larry Page will take the reins from Eric Schmidt as CEO of Google. I, for one, am pleased to hear this, for a couple of reasons.
First, let me say that I have no doubt that Eric is a capable businessman. When Sergey and Larry recruited him from Novell, he already had 20 years of notable achievements as an internet strategist and developer of technologies. They didn’t recruit him because they thought he was a dummy.
And growing the Google infrastructure in pace with their phenomenal growth over the last ten years was no small task, particularly when also managing to log an impressive 28% increase over the previous year’s profits.
Still, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and Schmidt’s Achilles’ heel seems to have been his inability to think his comments through before making them public.
In fact, some feel that his stepping down may be at least partly because of such gems as these:
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”
“Just remember when you post something, the computers remember forever”
“You can trust us with your data”
“I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions, they want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.
“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
There were others, but these adequately show that Eric’s mind and mouth may have been running at different paces. Unfortunately, when one heads up a company as large as Google, such insignificant utterances quickly get blown into great clouds of doubt.
And of course, a few tinfoil hats in the crowd can fan the flames a bit.
So now that Schmidt is stepping into his new role as Executive Chairman, he may actually be able to be more effective than before… more in his element, you might say.
And with Larry Page stepping into the CEO slot, and Sergey Brin continuing to search for new products, some of the “old” Google may once again bubble to the surface. The two founders certainly brought a lot to the table the first time around… I’m hopeful that we’ll see some great stuff coming out of the GooglePlex.
Speaking of great stuff… let’s not forget Marissa Mayer! That brilliant young lady has made marks before, and I have a feeling she’s not yet shown us her best stuff! 2011 may prove to be even more interesting than we already expect.