Why Is Eric Schmidt Stepping Down at Google?
Interesting development, but the singular focus of one leader will do wonders for Google
Amplify’d from www.newyorker.com
According to close advisors, the Google C.E.O. was upset a year ago when co-founder Larry Page sided with his founding partner, Sergey Brin, to withdraw censored searches from China. Schmidt did not hide his belief that Google should stay in the world’s largest consumer marketplace.
Was Eric Schmidt pushed or did he jump? Both.
He often joked that he provided “adult supervision,” and was never shy about interrupting the founders at meetings to crystallize a point. In the eleven interviews I conducted with him for my book on Google, he freely told anecdotes about the founders, sometimes making gentle fun of them, never seeming to look over his shoulder.
Schmidt, according to associates, lost some energy and focus after losing the China decision. At the same time, Google was becoming defensive. All of their social-network efforts had faltered.
The “don’t be evil” brand was getting tarnished, and the founders were restive. Schmidt started to think of departing.
He couldn’t. By the end of the year, he was ready to jump on his own. He is fifty-five, a billionaire, a man comfortable in his own skin. He would stay a year as executive chairman, said an advisor, and then do something else.
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