Ken Auletta sheds light into why Eric Schmidt is stepping down as Google’s CEO.
Google was becoming defensive. All of their social-network efforts had faltered. Facebook had replaced them as the hot tech company, the place vital engineers wanted to work. Complaints about Google bureaucracy intensified. Governments around the world were lobbing grenades at Google over privacy, copyright, and size issues. The “don’t be evil” brand was getting tarnished, and the founders were restive. Schmidt started to think of departing. Nudged by a board-member friend and an outside advisor that he had to re-energize himself, he decided after Labor Day that he could reboot.
As I suspected. But he didn’t reboot, so Schmidt has stepped down. He’ll remain with Google for another year and then move on to something else. Almost as interesting as his decision to leave, is a peak into what to expect from Larry Page as Google’s new CEO.
He is a very private man, who often in meetings looks down at his hand-held Android device, who is not a comfortable public speaker, who hates to have a regimented schedule, who thinks it is an inefficient use of his time to invest too much of it in meetings with journalists or analysts or governments. As C.E.O., the private man will have to become more public. And he will have to rid himself of a proclivity most engineers have: they are really bad at things they can’t measure.