Last night, we got to talking with a source close to Google about Eric Schmidt’s departure.
We asked if the news was a shock, who among the Google execs are the big losers in the news, and whether Eric was really the puppet-CEO everyone describes him as.
Here’s what we learned:
SAI: What does this mean? What are people saying? Excited? Sad? Shocked?
Source: This isn’t wholly unexpected since Eric has a 10 year agreement. [Google has] been moving to a more decentralized model for some time now. Eric will be missed in his current role but Larry will be great since the entire management team is very strong as well.
SAI: Google-watchers say Eric has actually been the number 3 or 4 at Google for a while, is that true?
Source: Untrue. He invokes the #1 clause in meetings when necessary.
SAI: Anybody a big winner here besides Larry?
Source: No. It will be interesting to see the dynamic between Nikesh and Larry though since Eric is more sympathetic to [global sales head] Nikesh [Arora]’s approach.
SAI: What’s Nikesh’s approach?
Source: More traditional business MBA approach and revenue-focused. Not a bad thing just different.