The Eric Schmidt Era: Google 2001 vs. Google 2011

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Will the end of Eric Schmidt’s nine and a half years as CEO of Google and the return of co-founder Larry Page to that role have an impact on the company’s direction? I’m no Google insider, but I’ll be startled if it has no noticeable effect. In announcing the news today, Schmidt said that Page will call the day-to-day shots while he focuses on external relationships, government affairs, and the like. That makes Page–who’s kept a far lower profile than Schmidt or fellow co-founder Sergey Brin until now–the single most important Google executive. If the idea was to keep Google the same as it ever was, there wouldn’t have been any reason to switch up Schmidt and Page’s roles. (More on Larry Page: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Google’s New CEO)

We’ll see in the coming months whether Google remains the amazing, ambitious, undisciplined, diffuse, sometimes inspiring, occasionally aggravating company it’s been in the Schmidt era. For now, it’s worth contemplating just how much it’s changed since he became CEO in August of 2001–back when Google was just a really popular search engine.

Google 2001 Google 2011
Executive change Eric Schmidt replaces Larry Page as CEO Larry Page replaces Eric Schmidt as CEO
Ages of Google founders 28 (Larry Page) and 27 (Sergey Brin) 38 (Larry Page) and 37 (Sergey Brin)
Revenue Undisclosed (the company was private and didn’t have to say) $29 billion (2010)
Profits Undisclosed, but it was its first profitable year $8.5 billion (2010)
Employees 400 24,000
Products Google Web Search, Google Image Search, Google Toolbar, Google Translate (the company told Cnet it had no plans to get into the e-mail business or otherwise become a “portal”) Google Web Search, Android, Blogger, Chrome, Chrome OS, Gmail, Google Analytics, Google App Engine, Google Apps, Google Blog Search, Google Books, Google Calendar, Google Buzz, Google Checkout, Google Code, Google Desktop, Google Earth, Google Finance, Google Goggles, Google Health, Google Image Search, Google Latitude, Google Groups, Google Maps, Google News, Google News Timeline, Google Patents, Google Product Search, Google Reader, Google Scholar, Google Sites, Google Talk, Google Toolbar, Google Translate, Google Trends, Google TV, Google Voice, Knol, Orkut, Picnik, Picasa, SketchUp, YouTube, and countless others that aren’t leaping to mind right now
Principal competitors AltaVista, AskJeeves, Excite, Yahoo Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo
Searches per day 70 million Approximately 3 billion
Rank among all Web sites #15 #1
Companies acquired Aardvark, AdMob, AllBits, Android, AppJet, Applied Semantics, Blind Type, Bump Technologies,, DocVerse, Dodgeball, DoubleClick, eBook Technologies, FeedBurner, Genius Labs, Gizmo5, GrandCentral, Invite Media, Jambool, JotSpot, Keyhole,, MeasureMap, MetaWeb, Neotonic, On2, Orion, Outride, Picasa, Phatbits, Picnik, Postini, Pyra, reCAPTCHA, ReMail, Ruba, Simplify Media, Skia,, SocialDeck, Urchin, Where2, WideVine, Writely, YouTube, and numerous others
Major homepage design innovation Google logo is centered on page for first time Google Instant displays results as you type (September 2010)
Mobile initiative WAP-friendly search on Cingular phones
Android 3.0 “Honeycomb”
Big idea Google search results in Swedish Chef-ese Self-driving cars
Top search term “Nostradamus” “Facebook”

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