We expected some interesting news from Google’s earnings report today, but we didn’t quite expect this: Eric Schmidt is stepping down as CEO, with co-founder Larry Page taking his spot. Google says it’s making the changes to “streamline decision making and create clearer lines of responsibility at the top of the company,” though it seems the real story behind this early-year drama is lurking in a corner somewhere. Details are limited so far, but here’s what Google‘s offered up:
- Starting from April 4, Larry Page, Google Co-Founder, will take charge of Google’s day-to-day operations as Chief Executive Officer.
- Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder, will devote his energy to strategic projects, in particular working on new products.
- Eric Schmidt will assume the role of Executive Chairman, focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership–all of which are increasingly important given Google’s global reach. Internally, he will continue to act as an advisor to Larry and Sergey.
As you can see, Schmidt won’t be leaving the company, but his focus has changed a bit, dealing primarily with partnerships, customer relations, and all-in-all business development stuff. It’s not entirely different from what Schmidt has been doing for Google since joining the company in its extremely early stage, but it will be interesting to see Page as the front man for Google moving forward.
Stay tuned for updates…