Google CEO to Step Down

Google CEO Eric Schmidt will step down and co-founder Larry Page will take his place effective April 4.

Image by World Economic Forum

We at Professional Marketing International know the importance of helping you keep up on industry news, and what happened yesterday could have far-reaching affects for search engine optimization.

News that Eric Schmidt will be stepping down as Google’s CEO took many by surprise, but a statement on the company’s blog explains the decision. Schmidt says they hope the restructuring at the top of the company will speed up decision making and provide “clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company.”

Effective April 4, co-founder Larry Page will take over as CEO and Schmidt will become Google’s executive chairman. Co-founder Sergey Brin will spend his time developing new products.

The change is intended to simplify Google’s corporate leadership. Titles notwithstanding, a trio of bosses has run the company for years. Schmidt, Page and Brin collaborated on important decisions and worked together to run the company. While this setup had its advantages, it was difficult to determine who was ultimately responsible for decision making. Schmidt, Page and Brin say they will continue to consult each other on important decisions but hope the restructuring will help the company run more smoothly.

Schmidt oversaw Google’s incredible growth from an $86 million company when he joined in 2001 to a $30 billion enterprise in 2010. As Page said in a statement, “There is no other CEO in the world that could have kept such headstrong founders so deeply involved and still run the business so brilliantly.”

Business savvy notwithstanding, Schmidt was known for his strange, funny and sometimes downright creepy quotes. There is speculation on the reasons for the change, with some saying it has been rumored for months. But whatever prompted Schmidt to step down, he is confident that Page can effectively lead Google as it moves forward.

“I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better,” Schmidt said on the Google blog. “Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead.”