Google’s Larry Page Has Noteworthy First Year Back in CEO Chair
Larry Page has been busy the past 8 months. Since he stepped in as Google’s CEO in April of last year, the co-founder has scrapped the dead weight in the product line, killing off about 20 less-than-stellar performers. And he has launched some major initiatives for Google.
The most well-known of Page’s new products is Google+, a social networking endeavor that aims to chip away at the Goliath that is Facebook. Google+ now boasts over 62 million users and adds over half a million per day. They aim for 400 million by the end of 2012.
Another product Larry Page birthed at Google is Google Offers, which challenges Groupon, the time-sensitive commercial deal-of-the-day king. Google had attempted to buy Groupon outright, but was rebuffed. Google Offers is developing at pace, with deals offered in the San Francisco Bay area, New York, Portland, and fifteen other deal sites currently. More will be offered to other cities in the future as Google Offers shifts to challenge Groupon.
Page founded Google in 1998 with Sergey Brin. Page was CEO at the company’s initial launch, but they later hired Eric Schmidt to serve in that position. Page’s return to the CEO spot has streamlined how Google operates. No more must all three power-sharers at Google (Page/Brin/Schmidt) sign off on a project before it green-lights. Page’s leaner/meaner approach allows Google to brings products to users quickly.
One of the biggest – and most controversial – moves Page made in the past year was to begin acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the cellphone arm of Motorola, for $12.5 billion. That deal is so big that it is under review by the U.S. Department of Justice to determine how it could affect the overall mobile communications market in terms of anti-trust. The primary goal of the deal seems to be for Google to have many Motorola patents in its hands so as to avoid any legal issues in its future plans. Google’s current hardware partners like Samsung and HTC don’t appear to be concerned about the deal.
2012 sees Page and Google preparing to broaden the reach of Google+, finalize the Motorola deal, and launch an Android tablet to challenge the iPad.
In recognition of his 2011 accomplishments, Investor’s Business Daily has named Page its 2011 CEO Of the Year. Previous winners include Netflicks’ Reed Hastings (2010), Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (2009), Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt (2006), and a man that many thought should have won again this year, the late Steve Jobs (2007). IBD’s bypassing of Jobs in favor of Page has set off a flurry of thumbs-down comments from pundits.