“Day-to-day adult supervision is no longer needed.” So wrote Eric Schmidt CEO of Google, one of the most successful digital economy companies ever, in a Tweet today. When he was brought in by the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin to run things in 2001, Schmidt acquired that moniker in part because the founders were so young.
As has been typical in Internet related industries youth and a new way of looking at things has often been enough to launch iconic brands and mind-boggling wealth. Google may have been the poster child for youthful innovation but the industry is full of people from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg who fit the mold.
So now what? Co-founder Page becomes CEO as well as president of products while co-founder Brin remains president of technology. The company is clobbering its numbers and despite a challenge from Facebook and continues to print money for its shareholders.
I do not understand why the shakeup occurred. According to Google this change will make communication channels cleaner but it’s hard to see how from outside. The trio appears to still be friends but perhaps a decade at the helm has sated Schmidt. Or possibly the two still youthful co-founders have a second act. But if that were the case, it is hard to believe they could not have acted from their previous positions as mere presidents. We may just have to watch as this company continues to evolve.