After Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down and Larry Page took his job, we pinged a Googler who knows who’s who over there and asked:”Who are now the 10 most important powerful people at Google?”
“We’re doing a a slideshow.”
A source close to the CEO tells us Page's primary focus will be on products.
Everything else we should expect him to delegate. He's not a micro manager like Steve Jobs, for example.
'He's not that kind of controlling guy. Larry just wants to set the main vision and then you go do it. And damn it if you don't come back with the right thing. Then shame on you,' says an ex-Googler.
Larry's real challenge will be dealing with people. He doesn't like to. CEOs usually have to.
The good news is that other tech titans who put people off with their personalities include Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg.
We'll admit, seeing Schmidt on our source's list surprised us.
Even when he was CEO of Google, we'd heard gossip that he was actually number 3 or 4 at the company.
One time, he told reporters that cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made acquisitions without even telling him. Android, the mobile OS which has turned into the future of Google, was one of them.
But then, Eric isn't stepping down as CEO until April, and even then he'll still be chairman and a public face for Google. We get the feeling new CEO Larry Page doesn't like dealing with the press very much. Schmidt, on the other hand, wants to host his own TV show.
Sergey, one of the 'triumvirate' before Schmidt stepped down, will remain powerful even as Larry takes the top spot.
Some reports suggest that it was Sergey's firm, oppositional stance on China that finally wore Schmidt out.
Insiders say Sergey is the more personable of the two cofounders and more liked among top execs.
Over the past couple years, Sergey has made himself very busy acquiring companies for Google. A source at one of those companies says Sergey will be the 'pure tech' guy while Larry works more on products.
During the quarterly results call on which Schmidt announced his departure, Sergey said he would be working on secret products that he didn't want to pre-announce for fear of touting 'vaporware.'
What's odd about seeing Jonathan Rosenberg's name on our source's list is that his job seems redundant.
Larry Page's focus is product. A source tells us, 'Google still has a lot of very smart product managers and those people work directly with Larry.'
Rosenberg is Google's SVP of product management.
So what gives?
'He sounds smart and that's how he holds on to his job,' says an ex-Googler.
There's nothing Sergey and Larry respect more than big brains. Remember, they were Ph.D candidates before dropping out to start Google.
Maybe somewhere deep down, they feel guilty about that.
Anyway, Eustace -- an SVP of engineering and research -- is a smarty and our Googler says he's a favourite.
Coughran isn't listed as one of Google's executive officers, but our Googler says he's very important.
He was a Bell Labs engineer for a long time. As interim CEO and COO, he helped sell a company called Entrisphere sell to Ericson in 2000. He's been at Google since 2003.
Nikesh Arora, Google's top salesman, is a by-the-numbers McKinsey type.
Boy does he have his detractors. They say he's a flatterer -- an MBA in a shiny suit that won't last under Larry, who doesn't need his ego polished.
We're not ready to predict a sudden departure.
Nikesh is Google's top salesman, and Google sales have been very, very good under his direction.
Larry Page might not go in for the type of smooth talking that Nikesh is famous for, but he is also a famous delegator who cares mostly about results.
As one source close to Larry's thinking put it, two people don't have to be alike for them to work well together.
Our guess is Nikesh keeps his job until he gets bored and wants to be CEO somewhere. He can't move up at Google because he's not an engineer.
Last year, Marissa Mayer was moved from being in charge of search to being in charge of local. She was also named to Google's operations committee -- the famous 'OC,' which is a really big deal at Google.
Thing is, search is Google's cash cow, and it's probably the most important business in tech. So not running it anymore definitely makes her a less powerful executive.
At the same time, Marissa is said to have lead the charge on Google's quest to buy Groupon for $6 billion. So she can't have been totally shipped to Siberia.
Plus, our source put her on this list. She's one of only three on the list who aren't one of Google's official executive officers, so that's something.
Susan Wojcicki is famous for two things: 1) she rented her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin 2) her sister is married to Brin.
At Google, Wojcicki is known for being the person who pushed the company launch AdSense, Google's off-site ad network.
Along with Coughlan and Mayer, she's one of just three non-executive officers who made our source's list.
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