Google turns a new Page


ANALYSIS Google's restructuring to move Larry Page into the chief executive (CEO) position could be a huge moment in the history of the search giant.

Eric Schmidt will still be involved in his role as executive chairman but Page will undoubtedly want to take Google where he thinks it should be going.

Page had plenty of praise for Schmidt, saying the former CEO had "done an outstanding job."

"His advice and efforts will be invaluable to me as I start in this new role. Google still has such incredible opportunity - we are only at the beginning and I can't wait to get started," Page said.

So what kind of impact can we expect from Page's return to the helm? Will he be able to lead the search behemoth competently and ensure the company's continuing success?

A sassy strategic move'

Google's reshuffling has not surprised Mike Davis, a senior Ovum analyst, who described the re-jig as a "sassy strategic move."

"Google knows it cannot live on search derived advertising revenues forever, hence its continual release of Beta' products and push towards both the smartphone and enterprise markets," Davis said.

"Such innovation needs a dynamic lead, and the shareholders need a steady voice, the new arrangement should satisfy those requirements."

Davis referred to the situation at Apple, where Steve Jobs has taken temporary leave to look after his health, noting how a shift at the top can have both positive and negative effects.

"Earlier this week we saw Steve Jobs, founder of former Google partner Apple (Schimdt was on Apple's board until August 2009) take a leave of absence, and a subsequent drop in the share price," Davis added.

"Steve rejoined Apple and through his vision, chutzpah', and nose for when to bring a product to market helped push the company to a near atmospheric share value."

Google shares certainly haven't taken a hit as a result of the reshuffle. Indeed, following the announcement and a strong results posting, Google shares climbed by more than two per cent.

It appears Page has taken on the CEO role, a position he held in the early days of Google, at a good time. The company has been one of the biggest business successes of the past 15 years and the firm's growth does not look like abating.

Page certainly has time on his hands as well. He is still only 37 - Schmidt is 55 - and so has years ahead of him to take Google in whatever direction he chooses.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.