Culture

How Will Google Survive Without Their Adult Supervision?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt will be stepping down into an “Executive Chairmen” role starting April 4th of this year, and Google co-founder Larry Page will take over as CEO.  In an official statement they say the change will “simplify our management structure and speed up decision making” and describe the move as “clarifying our individual roles”.  Schmidt posted on his Twitter, “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!”  We can add that statement to the list of things Eric Schmidt probably shouldn’t have said. (We’ll get to that in a moment.)

Ken Auletta, who wrote a New York Times bestseller about Google, gave another version of events in a New Yorker article posted Friday.  He says Schmidt “lost some energy and focus” after a disagreement last year with both Larry Page and Sergey Brin over how to handle China’s censorship of Google searches. Page and Brin reportedly wanted to withdraw censored searches from China while Schmidt wanted to stay in the Chinese marketplace.  Schmidt, despite being CEO, didn’t make the final decision.  Auletta also mentioned how Schmidt likes to call himself the “adult supervision”, which doesn’t seem like an attitude anyone’s coworkers (especially the ones who actually founded the company) would appreciate.  Which brings us back to the topic of things Schmidt probably shouldn’t have said.

In an interview with CNN, Schmidt defended Streetview privacy concerns by saying, “Streetview the cars we drive only once, you can just move, right?”  Google later said he had misspoke.  He must have also misspoke when he told The Atlantic, “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”  That’s very reassuring, but not as reassuring as when he spoke to The Telegraph about Facebook data and said, “We are willing to get it one way or another, with or without deal.”  No worries. He also told The Telegraph, “You can trust us with your data.”  Well, that’s all we needed to hear.

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  • Google co-founder Larry Page will be replacing Eric Schmidt as the CEO of Google, effective April 4, 2011.  (TechCrunch)
  • “Was Eric Schmidt pushed or did he jump? Both.” (NewYorker)
  • Top 15 WTF Eric Schmidt quotes. (StateOfSearch)

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  • German police detained a drunken owl, will release it ” once it has sobered up.” (Spiegel, picture via HungoverOwls)
  • Earlier this week group-buying site LivingSocial (which Amazon has recently invested in) offered an unbelievable deal: a $20 Amazon gift credit for only $10.  They sold 1,301,296 of these cards (approximately $26 million), many of them to new subscribers.  (Techland)
  • Speaking of group-buying sites, since Groupon turned down Google’s $6 billion buyout offer, Google is testing their own Groupon competitor, Google Offers. (Mashable)

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  • LivingSocial may prove very savvy to offer $10 off a gift certificate to get a new member. An industry insider says the lifetime value of a new Groupon or LivingSocial member averages between $25 and $35.  (SAI)
  • Google announced their fourth quarter 2010 earnings. They were up 26% from the fourth quarter of the year before.  They also gave a detailed breakdown of those earnings which we’ll summarize as, “They made a metric f*ckton of money and didn’t give us any of it.” (Google)
  • This infographic compares company stock growth to the value of a product they’re selling.  For example, if you put $1000 into Google stock in 2004 instead of buying $1000 in Adwords Ads you’d have $5116 now, but no one would have heard about your fail-proof monkey babysitting service. (Mint)
  • Picture via CashCats.biz, which is a real site that exists.  We want them to do our taxes.

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