On the surface at least, Google's major shift in management seems to come with no force-outs, hurt feelings or controversy.
Rather, outgoing Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt said on the company's fourth quarter earnings call it was a matter of streamlining things, clarifying roles and giving promotions. Schmidt has been the CEO for 10 years and will continue until April 4, when Google co-founder Larry Page takes over of day-to-day operations. Schmidt will be executive chairman where he will focus on big picture items such as partnerships, government outreach and technology thought leadership.
Schmidt said the move was to simplify management structure and speed decision making processes. This comes after 10 years of what he called the two of them and co-founder Sergey Brin having an equal say in company operations.
We've decided to streamline things by elevating me and having Larry running things day-to-day, Schmidt said. In his blog, Schmidt said he thought Larry is ready to lead and it's time for him to have a shot.
On his personal twitter account, Schmidt said, Day-to-day supervision no longer needed, in regards to the move.
Page and Brin spoke briefly during the call. Page thanked Schmidt and said the company is at the early stages of what it wants to accomplish. Brin said he will be working on some personal passions, without providing much detail except to say the products he has working on have been criticized as vaporware by competitors.
Schmidt reflected on his time as CEO since arriving at Google, after previously being head of software company Novell. In his time as CEO, Schmidt oversaw the incredible growth from simply a search engine to a full-on web-based services and products multinational corporation, with more than $8 billion in revenue.
It's been a great privilege to be CEO for 10 years and I am very much looking forward to my next role, including working more with his literally my best friends and partners Larry and Sergey, Schmidt said.