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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Is This a High School Dare or Does Larry Page Really Believe He Can Oust the King (aka Eric Schmidt) and Play Google CEO?

We've all seen this before - A hot shot young founder/executive who helped lead a company in its early years, took a back seat to another leader, and then came back riding gallantly on a white horse to come to the rescue.  For some technology companies it's ended extremely fruitful (Apple with Steve Jobs and not once but twice, and maybe a third time) and for others its been a complete disaster (Yahoo! with Jerry Yang).

Not sure why former Google CEO Eric Schmidt would step aside at this time, especially since the company he's led for the past 10 years, has reached close to $200 Billion in market valuation and is inching ever closer to Apple's lofty $300 Billion.  In the meantime, he's amassed a fortune of over $5.5 Billion personally.  And by the way, he's only in his mid 50's and seems like he could lead the company for at least another 5-10 years.  It seems pretty baffling what with the continued momentum that the company has now, and with the economic downturn starting to show an uptick.

In comes Larry Page, who really only has 3 years senior operating experience (1998-2001), and feeling ready to take the reigns of a company that does $25 Billion in sales per year!  It's not like Facebook has sprinted right by them while the company was sitting on its laurels and staying stagnant.  Zuckerberg's company is only estimated to be at a market valuation of $55-75 Billion (80-85 at a stretch) and its revenue streams seem woeful at best versus Google's advertising sales juggernaut.      

I guess all the media hype around the youngest billionaire in the world last year and the brights lights shining a bit less on one of the most successful companies ever lately, has prompted a knee jerk reaction from them and resulted in placing all their bets on an un-tested chief executive. 

Hope this High School drama doesn't turn into a tragedy.  More to come...


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