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article imageGoogle CEO Eric Schmidt to step down April 4, Page taking over

By David Silverberg     Jan 20, 2011 in Internet
Today Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced he will vacate his CEO position later this year and Google co-founder Larry Page will take over as chief exec. Schmidt said the shakeup will "simplify our management structure and speed up decision making.”
In a post on the Google blog, Schmidt said Page will "take charge of our day-to-day operations as Google’s Chief Executive Officer." He added, "I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better! Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead."
The management shuffle is the biggest at Google since Schmidt joined as chief executive in 2001.
Starting April 4, Schmidt will vacate the CEO position but remain as executive chairman. He went on to explain: "I will focus wherever I can add the greatest value: externally, on the deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership that are increasingly important given Google’s global reach; and internally as an advisor to Larry and Sergey."
"We are confident that this focus will serve Google and our users well in the future," Schmidt wrote. "Larry, Sergey and I have worked exceptionally closely together for over a decade and we anticipate working together for a long time to come."
Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineLand, an industry blog, told the New York Times he was surprised by the decision. "I can’t tell yet whether it would be a case of them being frustrated with Eric, which would surprise me, or Eric being tired of being the front man for the company."
Schmidt's announcement comes on the heels of Google's Q4 earnings report. Profit increased by 29 percent and revenue climbed to $2.54 billion, up from $1.97 billion a year earlier, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the fourth quarter, Google's staff increased 4.6 percent to 24,400 full-time workers.
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