Google's Larry Page returns as CEO: 5 predictions

The search engine giant's co-founder is back as the company's chief executive. What will that mean for Google?

Google Co-Founder Larry Page returns to his CEO position and techies predict all sorts of futures for the search engine from meltdowns to breakthroughs.
(Image credit: Getty)

Google co-founder Larry Page returned Monday to the role of CEO, a post he handed over to Eric Schmidt in 2001. What will the change mean for the tech titan? Here, five things to expect:

More innovation: "Google under Eric Schmidt made money and enjoyed high stock prices," says Doug Aamoth in TIME. "Google with co-founder Larry Page as CEO may be more aggressive when it comes to technology and innovation, but less focused on profits." In his first day back as CEO, Page bid $900 million on bankrupt telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks, and its patents. That's nothing if not aggressive.

"Google with Larry Page as CEO could look more aggressive"

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Less micro-managing: "Larry Page is the boss, but he's not a micro-manager" like Steve Jobs, says Nicholas Carson at Business Insider. He'll be focused on products, but delegate everything else. His "real challenge" will be dealing with employees. Like many a tech leader, he doesn't like to interact with people — but that's what CEOs have to do.

"A Googler tells us these are the 10 most powerful execs under new CEO Larry Page"

New priorities: Under Page, "Google is expected to focus on its graphical online-ad initiatives, video site YouTube, and its Android mobile device software," says Amir Efrati in The Wall Street Journal. Some also believe he'll "eliminate or downgrade projects he doesn't believe are worthwhile, freeing up employees to work on more important initiatives." One expected casualty is Google Health, which allows people to store medical records online.

"At Google, Page seeks to cut red tape"

A fresh COO? "When you peel back the layers... Google is a company that has many looming challenges," says Ben Parr at Mashable. It's "seriously" threatened by Facebook's "skyrocketing growth" (having failed at its own social media attempts); by Apple, which has grown into the second biggest company in the world; and by Microsoft's Bing. These are "choppy waters," and with Schmidt halfway out the door, Page needs to find a right-hand man, or woman, to help him navigate them. Steve Jobs has Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg has Sheryl Sandberg, but Page doesn't have anyone. He's in dire need of a COO. "History shows that pairing a visionary product CEO with a detail-oriented COO is often a winning combination, especially in the technology world."

"Why Google needs a second-in-command"

More of the same: "Unlike companies such as Charles Schwab and Starbucks whose founders returned, Google is not in obvious trouble," says John Gapper in The Financial Times. Sure, its stock price has been down a touch this year, but Google still enjoys a 65 percent market share for basic internet searches. That presents a unique challenge to Page, an "ambitious visionary" who isn't comfortable maintaining the status quo. "He is looking for another search-sized opportunity, which only comes along once in a lifetime, at a company where there is nothing obviously wrong to fix."

"Larry Page sets himself up for failure at Google"

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