As reported, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is turning over his CEO role to co-founder Larry Page, in favor of an Executive Chairman role. We sat in on a call with those two and co-founder Sergey Brin, who talked a little bit about the management strategy.
During the Q&A session, Schmidt talked for a minute about the government scrutiny Google has been dealing with, saying that lots of the problems are things that people "just don’t really understand what we really do." He also mentioned that competitors are assisting in spreading the misinformation.
I’m wondering if this is in reference to FairSearch, a coalition of travel sites that are making a lot of noise about Google’s pending acquisition of ITA Software. Recently, Microsoft climbed aboard. Back then, Adam Kovacevich, Google Sr. Manager, Global Communications and Public Affairs told us:
"I’m not sure there are any surprises here. Microsoft is our largest competitor and lobbies regulators against every acquisition we make…
Schmidt says Google’s strategy is just to communicate and be as transparent as possible.
"The regulators have job to do," he said. "They’re there for a reason, and we respect that." He added that they try to stay away from things that are too close to hampering competition. I’m sure Fairsearch and other critics will have something to say about that, but that is the stance Google is taking. If you want to hear both sides arguing about the ITA deal in particular, with regards to competition, read the argument here.
Either way, this is the kind of stuff Schmidt will be focused on in his new role, which includes things like: deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership.