Jan
21
2011

Google co-founder Page to replace Schmidt as CEO

Google on Thursday announced that Eric Schmidt, one of the two original founders for Google and its CEO for the last ten-plus years, is to give up his CEO role and move to being simply an executive chairman for the company. In his place, the other of the pair – Larry Page – is to take over as Google’s official CEO.

Now, truth be told, this change is really nothing but symbolic. As Google themselves admit, both Schmidt and Page had worked as partners in the company from inception, and no business decision was ever made by one without the pair discussing, evaluating and agreeing to the move as a team. So Schmidt really has always been CEO only in name. Therefore, Page being the CEO really isn’t changing much.

So, why the change? Some people believe it’s to give Google a fresher face. Up until now, Eric Schmidt has been the one who always seemed more in the public eye – as the CEO, he usually would be the one to make the company announcements, and he was also thought to be the much more outgoing type. By contrast, Larry Page has always been more in the background, and has not shown his face publicly very much at all in the last decade. By swapping the two’s roles, Page will have more reason to show his face and get himself out there, and thereby implant himself in people’s minds as one of the key players in the company. Also, because he is less seen, his face may seem fresher to some, and help give Google the image of a fresher, friendlier company.

Of course, this is merely speculation – without Google offering an explanation, who can really be sure what they’re thinking? What do you think about this change? As always, comments are welcomed!

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