Google Management Shuffle: Right Move, Wrong Guy?


But I think you can make a strong case for the need for new leadership at Google. Perhaps the biggest problem was Schmidt's recent penchant for making statements that just reinforced the creepy feeling many people have about how much Google knows about us.

In October, for instance, Schmidt had this reply for people who don't want their : "With Street View, we drive by exactly once, so you can just move." In August, Schmidt suggested that most once they reach adulthood so they could disavow all the embarrassing information they had posted on the Internet in their youth.

Some people were creeped out by Schmidt's vision of the future of search, in which Google uses what it knows about you to suggest information that you'll want, rather than waiting for you to enter a query.

And while Google's business is clearly thriving overall and Android has been spectacularly successful, there have been some ugly failures of late. Perhaps the worst is Google's inability to make headway in social networking. Unless you live in Brazil, Orkut is probably a nonentity to you. And since its much-heralded debut, has just laid there like a squished bee. Add to that the shuttering of the supposedly revolutionary and the fact that Bing has become a solid competitor in search and there's certainly reason for concern.

The question for anyone who's interested in Google's success is whether Larry Page is really the right person to take over. Should Google instead have brought in another "adult," someone with solid experience running a huge organization? And has Page, whose education, after all, was in computer science, not business, learned enough at Schmidt's elbow to take over day-to-day responsibility? Gartner analyst Allen Weiner told the IDG News Service: "I can say with some assurance that if [Page] went to apply for the CEO job somewhere [else], he wouldn't get it."