Google Comfortable Enough In Its Own Economic Shoes

    November 8, 2008
    Chris Crum

Eric SchmidtGoogle CEO Eric Schmidt is a busy man as you can imagine, and has probably been even busier than usual recently, now that he has been named to the transitional economic advisory board of President-Elect Barack Obama at a time when the economy needs all the help it can get.

On top of that, he has been dealing with the aftermath, and no doubt endless questions regarding the proposed deal with Yahoo, which was shut down by the U.S. Department of Justice. The New York Times scored an interview with Schmidt and discussed these things and others like how Google is handling itself in this economy. Schmidt enjoys the challenge of maintaining success at a time when many others are struggling.

The Yahoo Deal

When asked about the Yahoo deal, Schmidt implies that he is confident that Google would have won a trial if they had continued to pursue it, but felt that it wasn’t in the company’s best interest due to the likely high cost and length of time that it would have taken.

Yahoo on the other hand was counting on that deal for big revenue, and is coming off somewhat desperate, as the company has tried to get Microsoft interested again. That ship may have sailed though, because Microsoft isn’t taking the bait.

Google During the Economic Crisis

The Times interview inquires how Google would cut expenses to deal with economic slowdown. So what are some things Google is doing to watch expenses? Based on Schmidt’s responses it sounds like they will:

– Slowdown Hiring

– Continue to keep detailed expense reviews to minimize wasted money

– Be more careful with expensive projects that don’t guarantee substantial ROI

Google apparently doesn’t have plans to cut back on the lavish employee benefits much. "The people who manage these areas are very, very sensitive to what is really important versus what is an experiment or a waste of money or what have you," says Schmidt. "But we have no intention of getting rid of the really important aspects of our culture."

Unlike many companies in this economic crisis, Google seems to remain on very solid ground, and doesn’t show many signs of the contrary. It is Schmidt’s job to be optimistic, but unlike some other executives with other companies, he is actually convincing.