Anyone who has checked Twitter (or any tech new source) in the past 24 hours has heard the news about Google’s Eric Schmidt stepping aside as CEO. I can’t speak for what those inside Google would say (that’s what Quora is for), but from the outside, it looks like this is a good thing for the company and probably even a little late.
Google seems to have lost their direction lately and have made more news for their increasingly irrelevant search results due to content farms rather than the awesome products that drew people to them in the first place. It’s good to see Larry back in charge of the company he helped build and I think it sends a strong message to Google employees that they might see a renewed focus on the things that made Google such a dynamic company in its early days. It will be interesting to see whether Larry’s return as CEO will also help keep strong engineering talent from migrating to Facebook, Apple and others that pose a threat to Google.
Albert at USV has written a nice post about what he hopes to see from Larry, and I have to say that I hope for the same. Google has an opportunity to remain an “equalizer" and advocate for openness on the Internet and in the mobile space (and, yes, still be hugely profitable). While I love my iPhone, I think that a cloud space dominated by closed, proprietary technology (Apple, Facebook, etc.) is ultimately an unhealthy place for consumers and new innovation. As Albert puts it, Google can “figure out how to succeed by making others succeed." Here’s to hoping.