This week, Google got a new CEO: cofounder Larry Page.He’s already shaking things up – pushing out long-tenured executives, ditching old org structures, and promoting new leaders.
The overriding theme is that Page wants Google’s various businesses to run on their own, with each SVP in charge operating like a CEO with a board of one – Page.
Page wants no committees and no managers between him and the people he can hold accountable for each Google product.
He wants to be Steve Jobs of Apple.
Meanwhile, Facebook and Apple may be looming, but Google is still one of the most powerful and successful technology companies in the world right now.
The way most people still get around the Internet is search, and Google owns search. If you own a smartphone, it’s probably an Android.
If you’re a winner at Google, you’re a winner world-wide.
Andy Rubin is now senior vice president of mobile.
He's the boss of Android, Google's mobile operating system, which is now more popular than Apple's iPhone.
Android has always been a very self-contained unit at Google. Its success is one big reason Larry Page wants to decentralize the entire company.
A couple weeks ago, Vic Gundotra made a big presentation about how Google is going to get killed by Facebook if it doesn't figure out 'social' soon.
To illustrate, he used a painting titled 'Emerald Sea;' it's a picture of a wave knocking a ship over.
Larry Page bought it. Page then sent out a company-wide memos telling them that if the company doesn't figure out social in 2011, their bonuses could go down by as much as 25%.
Make no mistake, Gundotra -- now a SVP -- has Page's ear.
How much does Google's Web browser, Chrome, and Pichai, the guy who's running it, matter to Larry Page?
Enough that when Twitter tried to poach Pichai, Page reportedly gave him $50 million to stick around.
He also just promoted Pichai to senior vice president.
Like Android, YouTube is the other independently-run business at Google that has proven to Larry Page that it's best to let people run their businesses that way.
For years after Google bought it for $1.6 billion in 2006, people wondered when YouTube would turn a profit.
Then finally, it did, and Larry Page is pretty sure Kamangar was one big reason why.
Kamangar is now SVP of YouTube.
Alan Eustace used to be SVP of engineering and research.
Under Page's reign, he has become SVP of search, the most wildly successful product in all of technology.
That makes him a winner.
At Google, Wojcicki is known for being the person who pushed the company to launch AdSense, Google's off-site ad network.
Those ads have done very well. She is now SVP of ads.
Wojcicki is also famous for being the woman who rented her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin back in the early days. Her sister is married to Brin.
Jonathan Rosenberg, formerly SVP of product management, was the first top Google exec shown the door after Larry's ascent.
The reason: Larry Page wants to be his own SVP of product management.
Marissa Mayer used to be in charge of Google search.
When she was removed from that role last fall, she was elevated to Google's esteemed and powerful 'Operating Committee.'
That made it seem like her demotion was perhaps also a promotion.
Larry's re-org, however, also seriously slashed the authority of Google's 'OC.'
So now Marissa is just in charge of Google's local efforts. She was also not promoted to SVP.
David Drummond is Google's 'Chief Legal Officer.'
But Google now has a general counsel, Kent Walker.
Does the company need both?
The one clear message from Larry Page so far has been that he does not like the way Google's management structure was organised. He thinks it made Google slow to react to threats like Facebook.
Shona Brown is famous for having designed Google's management structure.
CFO Patrick Pichette does a lot of stuff that Larry Page doesn't want to do -- like talk to Wall Street -- and he does it well.
He's also very disciplined about Google's financials in a way that the company wasn't for several years.
Larry Page likes him, people say.
The only reason he's not a 'winner' is that Pichette used to run Google's Operating Committee meetings, and under Page's re-org, the 'OC' is much less powerful.
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.
Nikesh is Google's top salesman, and Google sales have been very, very good under his direction.
Google's new run-your-business-and-just-show-me-results organisation make it more likely people like Foursquare's Dennis Crowley or Twitter's Jack Dorsey will say yes to Google's billions when Page comes calling.
Page WILL come calling. This whole org structure is based around the success of YouTube and Android -- a pair of acquisitions.
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