WHEN Google announced in January that Larry Page would take up the role of chief executive from 4 April, the company’s current head Eric Schmidt tweeted: “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!”
For some, worries will remain about Google’s co-founder. Wired Magazine calls him “perhaps the quirkiest person to ever run a $30bn company”. He is so introverted that he has refused to stop using his PDA during an important meeting.
Current antitrust threats to Google in Europe and the US are unlikely to play to his strengths – although if Schmidt becomes President Obama’s next commerce secretary as some suggest, Google may gain a useful ally in Washington.
If not a political animal himself, Page remains a technological visionary. He initiated Google’s acquisition of Android, the company’s most inspired move in recent years (see right).
Page also takes an obsessive interest in the detail of Google’s success. He has vetted all of his 24,400 employees and knows to the millisecond how long a website takes to load. Google is no longer a start up, but under Page’s renewed control, the company that has transformed search, machine translation and even created a driverless car will be trying to build the future faster still.