Google CEO Page homes in on social networking
Memo to Google workers is said to tie employee bonuses to social success
Computerworld - Google's new CEO is making one thing clear -- he'll be sharpening the company's focus on social networking.
Just days after taking over Google's CEO seat, Larry Page sent out a company-wide memo informing employees that bonuses are now tied directly to the company's social media success, according to a report from the Business Insider, which said it received a copy of the memo.
According to the leaked memo posted online, bonuses will depend on how well the company does on its "strategy to integrate relationships, sharing and identity across our products. If we're successful, your bonus could be up to 25% bigger. If not, your bonus could be up to 25% less than target."
That statement indicates how seriously Page is taking social networking.
"It's a firm wide initiative across Google," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial. "There's no greater way to signal the importance of this than tie everyone's pay to it."
For months now, Internet rumors about Google's social networking strategy have circulated widely. will be. Some suggest that the company is building a Facebook-like tool, while others predict a gaming-focused social network or the addition of social features to Google services like search and maps.
This week's memo, if legitimate, seems to indicate that Page wants Google to dive head-first into social networking. And he wants every single employee working in that same direction.
And he has good motivation as Facebook increasingly becomes a major rival.
Facebook, with more than 500 million users, is the largest social networking site in the world. That alone is a threat to Google, which wants users to spend their time on Google sites.
"This is the biggest threat to them -- being disrupted by Facebook," said Gillis. "I think Microsoft is attacking the existing business but the real disruption in future business comes from Facebook."
In a management reorganization this week, Page named Vic Gundotra, a former Microsoft general manager, as Google's senior vice president of social.
Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said Gundotra lauded Gundotra's appointment. "He is one of the sharpest guys to have left Microsoft. He has a strong ability to build relationships. He's probably one of the most experienced people to put on a social project. However this is an area that is very new and still largely in the discovery phase, which means his success is not assured," he said.
Google's real plan remains firmly up in the air, said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research.
Gottheil said it doesn't make sense for Google to go head-to-head with Facebook considering the size of the social network's lead and dominance in that space.
"Gaming, especially multi-platform gaming, is one real possibility," said Gottheil. "I think there are opportunities to complement Facebook with more group-oriented and topic-oriented social networking offerings. Google tried to do that with Wave, and failed, but it doesn't mean the opportunity isn't there."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed .
- Watch out Spotify; Google's building YouTube 'Music Key'
- Google goes after Amazon with same-day delivery
- Google offloads mystery barge to marine company
- Google's next frontier: What it means to be healthy
- Google updates the Maps Explore Nearby feature -- for some users
- Chrome gets sharp after dumping 30-year-old Windows technology
- Google moves closer to selling smart contacts
- Google goes mum on Glass release plans
- Samsung Gear Live vs. LG G Watch: A real-world evaluation
- Android Wear deep-dive review: A smart start to smartwatch software
Read more about Internet in Computerworld's Internet Topic Center.
- Capabilities You Need in an IP Address Management Solution A mismanaged IP space can cripple an otherwise healthy network. Take a moment to understand what you need in an enterprise-ready IPAM solution.
- IPv6 Fundamentals IPv6 is needed to sustain the growth of the Internet. The transition from IPv4 will require planning and likely some degree of support...
- 3G/4G Digital Signage Guide Today, the widespread availability of 3G and 4G cellular or wireless broadband networks enables digital signage to be deployed virtually anywhere.
- Enterprises in Motion: In-Vehicle Networks In a world where traditional tethers to the central office have all but vanished, enterprises that operate vehicle fleets require constant and dependable...
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics...
- Cloud BI Overview: Jaspersoft for AWS Check out this overview of Jaspersoft for AWS, to easily and affordably build business intelligence solutions as well as embed visualizations and analytics... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!