New Google CEO sweeps in with company reorg
Page wastes no time in shaking up management
Computerworld - Wasting no time, Larry Page quickly moved to shake up Google's top management in the days after he became the Internet company's CEO on Monday.
A Google spokesman confirmed to Computerworld on Friday that the company's management structure had been realigned. The spokesman said the restructuring is aimed at "streamlining" Google management, putting one person in charge of each of Google's "functional groups." These groups are generally based around product lines, such as search or the Android platform. Those changes were announced to Google employees Wednesday.
The spokesman said the restructuring didn't include layoffs.
"Page is definitely coming at this out of the gate," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial, a New York-based investment firm. "He doesn't need to wait and get the lay of the land. He knows what he wants to do, and he's hitting it pretty fast."
Citing an unnamed source, the Los Angeles Times reported that the management shakeup included several key promotions. Andy Rubin was named senior vice president of mobile; Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social; Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome; Alan Eustace, senior vice president of search, Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of ads; and Salar Kamangar, senior vice president of YouTube and video.
Each group manager is now autonomous, reporting directly to Page.
The restructuring at Google shouldn't come as a surprise. Page made that clear in January when it was announced that he would succeed Eric Schmidt as CEO.
The only surprise is how fast it happened.
Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research, said the speed of this move is an indication of how Page is going to run the show. "I think it answers the question about why Schmidt left," Gottheil said. "There was a divergence in vision. Page wants to move faster."
The first change in Google's management team came the same day that Page took over as CEO.
On Monday, Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's product chief, announced that he plans to resign. By all accounts a pivotal player at Google, Rosenberg is expected to leave the company in the coming months. At this point, it's unclear who will replace him, or if he will be replaced at all.
Page, who all along has been part of the triumvirate behind Google's success that also included Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin, is making it clear that he's in charge. Some, though, wonder why Page would shake things up at a company that has achieved such wild success.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, said Google is in need of an overhaul.
"The firm lacks focus. Its brand is suffering from a long list of crappy products, and it's still largely living off that first big idea, which probably won't last," he said. "It is actually much sicker than its revenue -- which is more like an annuity at this point -- represents. They needed to do this, but they need to do it well."
Enderle added that he's concerned that by setting up groups that report only to the top, Page is creating fiefdoms. That could lead to trouble, he said.
"It can fragment the company into warring groups, which eventually could kill the company," he said. "Done right, however, the approach is similar to what successful military organizations do, and it is a textbook MBA approach to managing a large company.... The approach is very powerful if done right, but Google has a history of learning by doing, and execution could be a problem here as well."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Chrome users attack Google for zapping unsanctioned Windows add-ons
- Google postpones add-on 'kill switch' for Chrome on Windows
- Google yanks option to restore Chrome's old-style new tab page, riles users all over again
- Google's 3D tech could be boon to Glass, robots and virtual reality
- Google bots are coming!
- Antitrust deal leaves Google unscathed
- Google agrees to give equal prominence to rivals' services to settle EU antitrust case
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- With Motorola sold, Google can focus on robots, Glass and smart homes
- Google is developing a smart contact lens
Read more about Management in Computerworld's Management Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- The CIO's Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) This guide will help those making an EMM platform decision make the best choice for their organization.
- Yankee Group: BlackBerry Results Refute Rumors of its Demise Yankee Group: BlackBerry® is stronger than the press makes it out to be.
- Your New EMM Platform: How to Streamline the Migration Smartphone migration can be resource-intensive and challenging. Find out how outsourcing the process can save significant time and money.
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing... All Management White Papers | Webcasts