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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Larry Page replaces Eric Schmidt as Google CEO in surprise move

Internet search giant Google has revealed that its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, is to be replaced by co-founder Larry Page. Page, 37, is reclaiming the CEO job he relinquished to Schmidt nearly 10 years ago when investors asked for a more experienced business leader at the helm.

The news was announced along with Google's quarterly results which recorded net profits of $2.54bn in the last three months, ahead of analyst expectations.

Eric Schmidt is to continue as executive chairman focusing on "deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationship", according to Google. In a blog post, Schmidt stated: "In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I'm excited about working with both him and Sergey [Brin] for a long time to come". Sergey Brin, 37, is Google's other founder.

The management changes are set to take effect on April 4. Industry followers are interpreting the shake-up as a move to help Google re-gain lost momentum, particularly in competition with Facebook which is threatening to redefine the very notion of internet search. Meanwhile, Schmidt is set to focus on a role also dealing with the attention from regulatory authorities the search giant has been increasingly attracting due to its dominant market position, analysts are speculating.

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