Google cofounder Larry Page is taking over as CEO starting today.
Eric Schmidt, who was “adult supervision,” and CEO for 10 years will remain chairman. He will continue representing Google in the public (something Page hates to do).
Here’s what Valley Insiders think about Page:
Googlers and ex-Googlers say the company’s new CEO, cofounder Larry Page, is an unpretentious, rude person who will find interacting with other people the most challenging part of his new job.
They say his next biggest challenge will be keeping an eye on revenues, profits, and the other numbers that Wall Street and “traditional MBA types” obsess over.
But these people also describe Page as “brilliant” – an “intellectually honest person” with a “vision stronger than arguably anyone in the industry.”
Here’s what Valley Insiders think Page needs to do first, according to Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry:
Fire a bunch of top execs. Plenty of people think that Google has grown bloated and overly political. Several people proposed thinning the herd, but our favourite way was the one proposed by Yishan Wong: “Larry should directly contact a thousand of the best ex-Googler (sic) and ask them to anonymously name 5 people who are still at Google who should be fired, and using a histogram of the results, fire the top 100 names without letting those people “explain” their way out of it. ” That should do it.
Fix search! The complaints about spam and content farms on Google are growing ever-louder. Of course, solutions are harder to imagine. An interesting proposal: creating its own “like” button to rank websites. But it seems overall people are bearish on the whole concept of social search. Other people point to natural language recognition, semantic search, contextual search…
Get out of the Googleplex, visit every office in the company and listen to the lower ranks people, then retire to a cabin for a week and come out with a 5 year strategic plan.
Beat Facebook! … or give up on trying to beat Facebook, it will never happen! Opinions on this one are pretty evenly split.
And finally, it’s gone from the answers but we loved an early answer from entrepreneur and investor Ouriel Ohayon (quoting from memory): “Buy Twitter now. Whatever the price. Before it’s too late.” We agree. (In fairness, it’s probably already too late.)
Here’s what you need to know about Page’s history, according to Dan Frommer:
Page was Google’s founding CEO, leading the company from two employees (himself and Sergey Brin) to more than 200, according to his official Google bio.
He has been a nerd his whole life. Specifically, his “love of computers began at age six,” according to his bio. During his undergrad years at the University of Michigan, he built an inkjet printer out of Legos. He was also a member of the solar car team.
He’s the reason Google’s search algorithm was called “PageRank.” Larry Page, Page-Rank, get it? This was developed while he was at Stanford grad school with Sergey Brin.
Page is “aggressively disdainful of marketing and public relations,” according to “Googled,” the book by Ken Auletta. In early 2008, according to the book, Page told Google’s PR department that he would only give them “a total of eight hours of his time that year for press conferences, speeches, or interviews.”
Larry used a few of those hours in 2008 to rally the FCC to open “white spaces” wireless spectrum between TV channels for high-speed wireless Internet access. (“Wi-fi on steroids.”)
Page is “more reclusive, and odder” than Brin, according to “Googled.” At a dinner, he was once asked what the most important thing the government should be doing. “Colonize Mars!” Page said.
He and Sergey Brin are both billionaires, but both earn a token salary of $1 per year.
“Larry is like a wall. He analyses everything. He asks, ‘Is this the most efficient way to do this?'” according to a longtime Googler, via “Googled.” (He once blew off Barry Diller, choosing to stare at a PDA instead of talking to Diller.)
A long time ago, Page dated Marissa Mayer, Google’s stunning VP of geographic and local services.
Page got married on Richard Branson’s island in the Caribbean, Necker Island, in 2007. His wife Lucinda Southworth is a scientist, and reportedly gave birth to their first child, a son, in 2009.
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