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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: A surprise personnel shakeup at Google. CEO Eric Schmidt is turning things over to the search giant’s co-founder, Larry Page. Critics have said Google has been slow to step up its game. going after Facebook and finding more ways to make money from online advertising. Schmidt says that’s a task Page is up to.
ERIC SCHMIDT: I want to say very clearly that I believe Larry is ready. He’s been working on this area for a long time, his ideas are very interesting and clever, and its time for him to have a shot a running this and doing it. And I’m sure he’ll do a fantastic job.
Page takes over in April.
Let’s get some analysis of the move with Jill Schlesinger, editor at large at CBS/MoneyWatch. She’s with us live from New York, as she is every Friday. Good morning.
JILL SCHLESINGER: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: What does this news do you Google. Are we going to see any changes to Google products and its website?
SCHLESINGER: I think Page’s return is really meant to rejuvenate the search giant. I suspect that social networking will soon become a big focus for Google and so for all of us Google users, look out, because they’re trying to find the users from Facebook and Twitter and grab them and have them stay longer on Google.
CHIOTAKIS: Looking at the larger scope of things, right? Does the CEO of any company really matter, Jill?
SCHLESINGER: Absolutely — the CEO matters. Let’s look at Apple. The announcement of Steve Job’s medical leave was met with trepidation. That’s because Jobs infused that company with his creative imprint, and because he hadn’t groomed is successor like Eric Schmidt had done with Larry Page, and so now Apple’s next chapter remains murky. That said, I’m always nervous when a CEO sort of becomes bigger than the company. In my mind, while the world was really praising Jack Welch at GE in the ’90s, he was leading the company down a path of destruction. His more stayed successor Jeff Immelt actually guided the company through the recession, and effectively turned it around.
CHIOTAKIS: Alright, Jill Schlesinger, with us from New York. Jill thanks.
SCHLESINGER: Great to be with you.
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