With a single tweet Google CEO Eric Schmidt announce a shift at the top of the search giant. The timing of this announcement can’t help but call to question if someone more youthful is needed at the helm to hold off the tidal waves of Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.
Odd that Google chose twitter and a blog post to convey this instead of more traditional methods.
“Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” Schmidt wrote on his Twitter account moments after Google dropped the bombshell that upstaged its fourth-quarter earnings. Schmidt, 55, will still be available to advise Page, 37, and Google’s other 37-year-old founder, Sergey Brin, as the company’s executive chairman. via msnbc
Schmidt is referencing an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS from when he first took the helm where Page and Brin explain why he took the role as CEO.
“Parental supervision, to be honest,” says Brin.
Rose laughs hard, and asks Page, “Do you agree with that – you guys need adult supervision?”
Page: “I don’t know if I’d say need, but it’s really nice to have.”
Rose: “It’s beneficial.”
Eric Schmidt steps down just as Mark Zuckerberg was named Person of the Year by Timeand Jobs was named Person of the Year by Financial Times. It calls to question if a more dynamic youthful leader was needed and if Page can step up and be that.
On the New Yorker Ken Auletta sheds some light on why Eric Schmidt is stepping down as Google’s CEO.
Schmidt, according to associates, lost some energy and focus after losing the China decision. At the same time, Google was becoming defensive. All of their social-network efforts had faltered. Facebook had replaced them as the hot tech company, the place vital engineers wanted to work. Complaints about Google bureaucracy intensified. Governments around the world were lobbing grenades at Google over privacy, copyright, and size issues. The “don’t be evil” brand was getting tarnished, and the founders were restive. Schmidt started to think of departing. Nudged by a board-member friend and an outside advisor that he had to re-energize himself, he decided after Labor Day that he could reboot.
He couldn’t. By the end of the year, he was ready to jump on his own.
Apparently Facebook and youth had quite a bit to do with it.