Eric Schmidt is no longer Google’s chief executive as Larry Page took the reigns this morning. The blogosphere is analyzing what this means as pundits scramble to measure the impact of Google’s co-founder on the company’s future. Page is taking over at a time when Google is one of the most powerful and most-valued technology companies on the planet. They reported $8.4 billion revenue in the last quarter.
The company owns search and mobile advertising and is chipping away market share from everyone in the cellphone space. It’s leading the charge in modern web development with the Chrome browser. The Chrome operating system will launch on desktops and servers at some point, potentially giving them a stronger foothold in corporations and on our desktops. But in spite wind in his sails, the perilous road lies ahead for the new CEO…
Google’s already monstrous appetite is growing each day. They want the music space and are doing video, media distribution and set-top boxes. You can safely say that Google’s after just about any market segment with eyeballs to be monetized. This puts Google and Page in the crosshairs of Silicon Valley giants like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.
Things will get messy. Wired author Steven Levy, who just published a book about Google, says “moon shots” are to be expected, “things that most outsiders would say is beyond what Google should be doing.”
The New York Times spelled out ten challenges Page will be facing at Google’s helm, like cracking open the walled Facebook garden (good luck), fix China (not easy), avoid antitrust lawsuits (next to impossible), catch up on Apple (they’re already trying to do that), make friends with privacy advocates and more. Page is a smart guy, no doubt about that. He should be able to take Google to the next level and nurture the startup philosophy that has given birth to must-have products in the past.
Wrapping up, here’s a nice video of Larry Page’s plenary lecture at the AAAS Annual Meeting, February 15-19, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Even though it’s more than four years old now, it’s a nice indication of Larry Page’s thinking that got Google become such a monster in the first place.