Management Shakeup at Google: Larry Page to Replace Eric Schmidt as CEO

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As part of its quarterly earnings release issued today, Google announced changes to its top-level management structure, with the most high-profile change seeing co-founder Larry Page replacing Eric Schmidt as CEO as of April 4th. Page will take charge of day-to-day operations at the company, while Schmidt will become Executive Chairman and focus on business deals, partnerships and outreach. Google co-founder Sergey Brin will direct his energies to new and strategic product efforts.

- 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.

Commenting on these changes, Eric said: "We've been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making for a long time. By clarifying our individual roles we'll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I'm excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come."

Schmidt has posted additional thoughts on the changes in a blog post.

Google and Apple have had a complicated relationship over the years, with the two companies previously sharing a close relationship in facing off against Microsoft in the personal technology market and Schmidt joining Apple's board of directors in 2006.

But with both Apple and Google making strong pushes into the smartphone arena and the two companies competing in an ever-growing number of markets, questions arose about the close ties between them. Schmidt stepped down from Apple's board in 2009, citing diminishing effectiveness as he was forced to recuse himself from increasing numbers of discussions due to potential conflict of interest. Even with Schmidt's departure from Apple's board, tensions between the companies have remained high.

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