Eric Schmidt resigns as CEO of Google

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Eric Schmidt - who joined Google in 2001 - is stepping down as CEO of the multi-billion dollar company.

Co-founder Larry Page will assume the title of chief executive officer as he prepares to lead Google into a brave new era of mobile and Cloud computing.

"When I joined Google in 2001 I never imagined - even in my wildest dreams - that we would get as far, as fast as we have today. Our emerging businesses - display, Android, YouTube and Chrome - are on fire. [Yes], the outlook is [certainly] bright," Schmidt wrote in an official blog post.

Eric Schmidt resigns as CEO of Google"But as Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated. So Larry, Sergey and I have been talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making-and over the holidays we decided now was the right moment to make some changes to the way we are structured."

According to Schmidt, the three had been "equally" involved in making decisions over the past decade. 

"This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us.

"But we have also agreed to clarify our individual roles so there's clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. [And] Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead...[Yes], day-to-day adult supervision is no longer needed."

As such, Larry has been tasked with leading product development and technology strategy, while Sergey will focus on strategic projects.

And Schmidt?

Well, the former CEO is expected to stay on as Executive Chairman and spend his time on "deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership."

As expected, Schmidt's announcement shocked many in Silicon Valley.

However, SearchEngineLand editor Danny Sullivan noted that Google was probably long "overdue" for a major management reorganization.

"The structures between the three have remained exactly the same over the past 10 years - which might as well be 100 years of Internet time. In that time, Google has transformed from a scrappy little underdog search engine into a massive advertising and technological powerhouse," he explained.

"In that time, Google has transformed from a scrappy little underdog search engine into a massive advertising and technological powerhouse. The start-up culture seemingly has been largely swallowed by inevitable bureaucracy that comes with getting bigger. Meanwhile, it has faced challenges in convincing new and key employees that it remains the place to be versus rivals like Facebook."

Still, Sullivan speculated that Google may decide to look for a new CEO - to replace Page - sometime in the near future.

"Is Page in it for the long haul? Or was this instead a temporary change until the three could take time to seek out a new CEO that they'd all agree and trust? As said, time will tell."