Eric Schmidt steps down, co-founder Larry Page takes over as Google CEO

Former Apple board member Eric Schmidt has stepped down and Google co-founder Larry page will be replacing him as Google CEO. The announcement came during Google's earnings call today.

  • Starting from April 4, Larry Page, Google Co-Founder, will take charge of Google's day-to-day operations as Chief Executive Officer.
  • Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder, will devote his energy to strategic projects, in particular working on new products.
  • Eric Schmidt will assume the role of Executive Chairman, focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership--all of which are increasingly important given Google's global reach. Internally, he will continue to act as an advisor to Larry and Sergey.

Under Schmidt Google achieved amazing technological and financial results but at the same time became heavily competitive in Apple's key businesses and became embroiled in several controversies that cast significant doubt on their once widely hailed "don't be evil" motto, including backing down on net neutrality with Verizon, allowing carriers to mutilate the open Android experience, and privacy concerns involving Buzz and Wi-Fi data collection, among others. Could Larry Page bring back a kinder, more customer and product-centric Google? Or is it exactly as @EricSchmidt tweeted following the announcement?

Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!

Love or hate Google they're responsible for tons of good stuff on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad including the data feed for Maps and YouTube, and services and apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Mobile, Latitude, Google Earth, and Google Voice. How, if at all, will this change in leadership effect their relationship with Apple and Apple users?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Eric Schmidt steps down, co-founder Larry Page takes over as Google CEO


Having the idealistic cofounder back in charge could be like having Woz back in charge of Apple. At least I can hope so, right.

allowing carriers to "mutilate" android .. is your personal problem .. but it was hardly controversial.. anybody who knows what open source means.. knows that manufacturers or carriers.. can tinker with the open source OS .. it wouldn't be Open source .. if Google would put the hammer down on Verizon ..
Now You might feel free to disagree with the philosophy but that's open source.. my man

Android isn't entirely open source. Google provides proprietary, closed source elements like search, Gmail, Market, etc. and can deny those elements to manufacturers and carriers who don't provide Android phones that live up to Google's criteria.
And it's not my "personal problem", Android Central, Engadget, and almost everyone had problems with open Android being closed down by AT&T and Verizon.
Google is big and tough enough to put consumers before carriers. And they should.

uhhhhh no they shouldn't. They shouldn't lock down their OS. That would be what apple does. If people don't like motoblur or touchwiz, the great thing is about OPEN SOURCE, is that we can change it. Put anything we want on their as long as we can make it. I'd rather have OPEN rather than CLOSED

That's a fantasy. My mom buys a Verizon Bing phone and she can't change anything. Google needs to act before carriers just fork the OS and make their own monstrosities.

Android isn't even "open source" in the spirit of the movement. It isn't collaborative. It's Google revving the software behind closed doors, then releasing the update and providing the source.
If they were truly open with Android, the source for their updates (1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.0, etc) would have been available during their development cycle to everyone. Licensees of the software would have had 3 to 6 months of time to make the mods and make sure the updates run on hardware in customers' hands. There's no excuse for Moto, HTC, Samsung, LG, SE whoever, not to have updates for their respective hardware immediately upon the official release of an Android OS update. Everyone should have had alphas, betas and release candidates running during the development cycle.

Obviously you don't know to much about this kind of stuff. When google finished a new version of android, it literally has to be refined and reworked for EACH specific device. Due to hardware differences and such. If they just pushed their source code to every phone, THEY WOULD BRICK

What are you talking about? Why doesn't Google give Android update alphas, betas and release candidates to Moto, HTC, Samsung, LG, whatever OEM, while Google is working on the new version? You know, an alpha, beta, release candidate cycles like happens all the time for operating system updates.

Because most don't work good AT ALL. Why doesn't apple do that? All they do is betas which is already for the most part a working version thats released mere weeks before the final.

"Because most don’t work good AT ALL."
That's why they would be called alphas and betas. Major Android OEM could get to work on updating drivers and any OS mods for there hardware months earlier.

"That’s why they would be called alphas and betas. Major Android OEM could get to work on updating drivers and any OS mods for there hardware months earlier."
That's not how things work. You need a crash course in manufacturing. The phones are made first and OS's are ported over modified. also you seem like you aren't aware of this, but OEM's do get access to betas. How do you explain all these honeycomb tablets (running Honeycomb as seen on the XOOM and G-Slate at CES) They do have access to them. But the risk of the backlash of pushing these to endusers is worth not open sourcing them from every single stage.

Who says OEM should push alphas and betas out to end user? All I'm saying is that OEMs should have access to the alphas betas so that could push out the "final" Android update to existing customers on phones already sold. They'll do this faster, if not right at the time of release, if Google gets them into the development cycle of each update. That's about the least controversial and most common sense thing to do.
At CES, who knows what was running on them. All we saw were some operating system showing videos of the Honeycomb UI.

Also it's the OEM's choice of when to push out the update. LG doesn't care at ALL, samsung's devices (minus the nexus s) are really difficult to update, HTC has Sense UI which makes the wait long. Moto is very good about updates for the most part. SE just doesn't have the hardware.