Google attempts to rediscover its roots as co-founder Page takes CEO reins

Verizon iPhone 4“Google made the biggest management shake-up in a decade on Thursday, handing the reins of the company to one of its co-founders in an effort to rediscover its start-up roots,” Claire Cain Miller and Miguel Helft report for The New York Times.

“As it has grown into the dominant company in Silicon Valley, Google has lost some of its entrepreneurial culture and become a slower-moving bureaucracy, analysts and insiders say,” Miller and Helft report. “To counter this, the company announced that Larry Page, its 38-year-old co-founder, would take over as chief executive from Eric E. Schmidt, a technology industry veteran who was brought in a decade ago to provide adult supervision, as Silicon Valley calls it.”

Miller and Helft report, “Mr. Schmidt, 55, will remain executive chairman of the company, which had a market value of $200 billion at the close of trading on Thursday, up from $27 billion when it went public in 2004.”

MacDailyNews Take: Executive Chairman is a euphemism for Kicked Upstairs.

Miller and Helft report, “The sudden rise of Facebook has exposed Google’s failures in areas like social networking and threatens its vast share of the online advertising market. Meanwhile, although Google has had success in new areas like mobile and display advertising, it has struggled to branch out into other businesses like television. The unspoken fear within Google is that it could become like Microsoft, a once-dominant technology company that seems past its prime.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Seems?!” Drop the P.C. crap, New York Times, and grow a pair! Or one, even. “Seems.” Give us all a break.

Miller and Helft report, “Google, which has 24,400 employees, is no longer considered by many top engineers as the most desirable place to work in the Valley; a new generation of start-ups has taken that place… Mr. Page led the company in its early days but relinquished that role in 2001, when it was still private. In tapping him to return to the post, Google becomes one of the few major companies in the Valley to be put under the control of a founder after being run for so long by a professional manager.”

MacDailyNews Take: Which mediocrity-at-best-fest is more addicted copying Apple, Microsoft or Google? It’s a contest. Gatesy will be back next.

Miller and Helft report, “On his Twitter account, Mr. Schmidt wrote: ‘Day-to-day adult supervision is no longer needed.’ Later, on a conference call with analysts after Thursday’s earnings report, he said, ‘I believe Larry is ready,’ adding, ‘It’s time for him to have a shot at running this.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Dear pompous asshole, you were fired, kicked upstairs, tucked away safely, but you’re far too egotistical to realize it which is both hilarious and sad. Stop deluding yourself. Now, hit the trade show circuit and try not to say too many stupid things. Love, Larry and Sergey.

Miller and Helft report, “Mr. Page and Mr. Schmidt said the decision was mutual. ‘I don’t think there’s another person in the universe that could have done as good a job as Eric has done in the company,’ Mr. Page said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Which is why he’s no longer CEO. Now, sit down and shut up for once.

Miller and Helft report, “Ken Auletta, the author of ‘Googled: The End of the World As We Know It,’ said in an interview that while Mr. Schmidt may simply have been ready for a change after 10 years, he may have received some encouragement to step aside. ‘I don’t think he was pushed aside, but he may have been nudged,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, ya think?

Miller and Helft report, ““’Larry has wanted to be C.E.O., so that’s not a surprise,’ said a former Google sales executive who would speak only anonymously to preserve his relationship with a powerful company. ‘But the timing — I’ve talked to people at Google today and they were just flabbergasted.’ Esther Dyson, a veteran Valley investor who has long known the Google founders and Mr. Schmidt, said, ‘It is unexpected but it makes a lot of sense.” She added: “Larry and Sergey have grown up. They want to run their own company.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How about you go back to developing your own intellectual property again, focus on the things you’re good at, and stop following Apple around like a puppy dog? We’ll never be able to respect Google way we once did, but that would be a very welcome change. The world doesn’t need another Microsoft.


  1. @The Joker No, well at least I’m not, but for perspective look at the last two-three things Google has invested time in (I’m not sure of the order but things like Picasa, GoogleTV, Android, Wave, Buzz or Chrome come to mind) and then think about how many of those things were significant improvements from the products that came before/developed an entirely new segment (I won’t even say “new” because then the argument deteriorates into saying that no one is original blah blah blah).
    From the Apple-user’s perspective (not necessarily mine, but I can see the argument) compare that to iPhone, iPad and AppleTV (three of Apple’s most recent time-consumers) and you can make a very strong argument that they completely changed – or at least altered the direction – of existing products in those areas. Add to that Schmidt used to be buddy-buddy with Apple and sat on their board and the image of Google as being “amazing”, “innovative”, etcetc doesn’t hold as much weight as it used it for some people.
    Like I said, I don’t necessarily agree with the “let’s hate google” line of thinking but it is frustrating on some level to see Apple come up with “new” things and just have other companies creating “me-too” devices (even if the me-too products are better – which is subjective – it’d be nice to see other companies take the lead).

  2. @ observer

    Pretty well said. I use “Google” — as in the search engine — because it is the best one. I have tried others and never been as satisfied.

    But I can’t think of anything else Google does that is best in class otherwise. Not a single thing.

  3. @midwestmac Thanks ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> I switched my iOS devices to Bing but quickly switched back.. maybe it’s because I’m used to Google but it’s probably because it’s just a better search engine… nothing wrong with that. Gmail is great as well. I use MobileMe but don’t see any reason to get rid of my address.
    I think a lot of the venom just comes from people looking for a battle/cause and this is a convenient one (much like Apple vs Msft previously, or Xbox vs PS3).

  4. @MDN
    You are usually right on the mark with your takes, but “seems” past its prime is the appropriate characterization. Dysfunctionally flailing away now, they might yet regain growth, but of course we doubt it. Apple “seemed” past its prime in the mid/late 90s, even though it was not.

  5. My biggest annoyance in tech right now is the masses of Android/RIM/WP7 followers who seem to so easily forget what a cell phone or tablet looked like a few short years ago.

    I’ve made my choice in the argument over vertical integration (I like shit that works) but so little credit is given for the fact that, if not for the iPhone and iOS, there would be no Android in its current form or legions of cell phones that have all glass fronts.

    Google has become derivative in many of its products. Just like Microsoft took its advantage as an early software developer for the original Mac and started designing its own GUI in secret, so did Google with iOS when it was developing things like Google Maps for the first iPhone.

    I’ll bet you next time Apple designs a revolutionary product, the first software on it will be Apple-exclusive first party stuff. And who could blame them.

  6. Lest we forget, Google is evil for multitudes of reasons. Privacy, security, etc. evil concerns aside, Google relies on choking innovations to keep infotech to the asymmetrical state it is now where they act as the gatekeeper. Sounds familiar? Think MS.
    What is even worse, Google is not only reckless, it even has the audacity to pretend they are championing innovation by riding the coattails of others, all the while pointing fingers towards others calling evil. They are a hypocritical bunch, liar (their search ranks got caught while manipulating in their favour) and a thief (got caught by Oracle); but hypocrisy my major beef against them.

    In that regard, MDN take is not only justified, I’d say they even let them off a tad easy.

    Down with Google. Larry et al. aren’t angles either, calling SJ liar that the original Android was already conceived with touch interface à la iPhone. Seriously!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.