Google with Larry Page as CEO Could Look More Aggressive

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Hi Larry. Welcome back to your position as CEO of Google. Did you find your desk okay? Great. Do you have your HR paperwork? Great.

Oh, I see you’ve already bid $900 million on Nortel patents today. That’s aggressive. I like it. Let’s go with it.

Google under Eric Schmidt made money and enjoyed high stock prices. Google with co-founder Larry Page as CEO may be more aggressive when it comes to technology and innovation, but less focused on profits.

(More on Larry Page: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Google’s New CEO)

Steven Levy, author of In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, told NPR the following:

“I think Larry will do things differently. But in a way, Larry’s values have always been the core values of Google. Even while Eric was CEO, it was Larry whose obsession with speed and scale and ambition and artificial intelligence — those were the things that Google engineers held up as ideals there. Eric’s job was to sit back with a rudder and steer that ambition and those huge goals and sometimes audacious projects that Larry would set Google on. So it will be interesting to see what happens when Eric’s hand doesn’t really reach over to Larry’s shoulder and say, ‘Maybe, Larry, not now,’ which has happened a lot over the years.”

Reuters reports an anonymous Google executive apparently saying that Page has already been “hacking away at some of the layers of bureaucracy” in the three months since the company announced he’d be taking over as CEO. Meetings and decision-making processes, especially, are “part of the larger thesis of let’s make this plan run faster, move more quickly and take bigger bets,” said this same source.

Investors may not warm up to a Page-led Google like they did when Schmidt was behind the wheel, with shares down some 6% since the announcement in January and the feeling that, “The company may be moving back to a mindset where investments take priority over profits,” according to an analyst quoted by Reuters.

Former Google engineer Paul Buchheit—Gmail creator and now partner at Y Combinator—said of Page, “His focus tends to be on the end-user experience. In terms of running the sales organization, I can imagine that is not his priority.”

So will we see a more consumer-focused, less profit-driven Google from here on out? That’ll be interesting to watch. The company has grown exponentially since Page gave the CEO position up to Schmidt back in 2001—a return back to its roots may prove to be quite a challenge.

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