Shake up at Google – Page is Chief and Brin is back on new products

Google co-founder Larry Page is to takeover as chief executive in April, and co-founder Sergey Brin is moved to new product development.

The move is part of senior executive overhaul at the company to “streamline decision making” as it looks to bolster its position in the face of competition from fast-growing rivals such as Facebook.

Page replaces Eric Schmidt, who steps down after ten years to become executive chairman. Schmidt will focus on “deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships”.

The move of co-founder Sergey Brin back to a role in new product development can only be seen as a good thing, new products have been thin on the ground recently and they’ve lacked any cohesiveness. It will also be interesting to see if the “mobile first” policy changes with the re-introduction of Page as Chief Executive.

The news comes as Google announced revenue for the three months to 31 December rose 26% to $8.44bn, driven by gains from display and mobile advertising revenue.

Schmidt says of the quarterly results: “Our strong performance has been driven by a rapidly growing digital economy, continuous product innovation that benefits both users and advertisers, and by the extraordinary momentum of our newer businesses, such as display and mobile. These results give us the optimism and confidence to invest heavily in future growth – investments that will benefit our users, Google and the wider web.”

Net profit in the fourth quarter was $2.54bn, up from $1.97bn in the same period last year of which the UK accounted for $878m, 10% of the company’s fourth quarter revenue, compared to 12% in the same period last year.
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