Seeking to focus on ‘big picture,’ Larry Page hands control of most Google products to Sundar Pichai

Sundar-Pichai

Google’s executive team has undergone a shakeup according to a new Re/code report. CEO Larry Page has apparently decided to hand control of many of Google’s products over to SVP of Android, Chrome, and Apps Sundar Pichai in order to take a step back and guide the ‘big picture’ of the company’s future.

Page has reportedly been concerned for some time that as Google ages it will become less and less innovative. The executive reorganization is designed to help him ensure that doesn’t happen. Pichai will take over what Re/code refers to as “core Google products,” except for YouTube, which will remain under Page’s control.

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Google X old hat, thinks Larry Page – proposes Google Y for even bigger challenges

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You might think Google’s ‘moonshot’ lab, Google X, is pretty out there, with autonomous cars, smart contact lenses and balloon-served Internet. But co-founder Larry Page seemingly thinks the company needs to look even further ahead: The Information (paywall) reports that he has proposed a second lab, Google Y, to look at even bigger issues.

The idea came out out of an initiative Page created called Google 2.0, designed to create a new set of goals for the company, an approach similar to that taken by the late Steve Jobs at Apple in 2010, where he created an off-site strategy-planning meeting for the top 100 people in the company.

A little over a year ago, Google CEO Larry Page convened his direct reports, the company’s dozen or so senior vice presidents, for a project that would take up two days a week for a couple of months. About 100 other employees below the SVP rank also participated in the effort, dubbed Google 2.0 …

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Qualcomm exec named new head of Google Fiber

3eafe52The Wall Street Journal reports that Google’s ultrafast Internet service Fiber has a new leader running the show, and not just any new leader. Dennis Kish, a former executive at semiconductor company Qualcomm, is replacing Milo Medin to head Google Fiber going forward. The Journal reports that Medlin will remain “an adviser to the Google Fiber team,” but the Google vice president will begin work on other unspecified projects.

Kish was brought in for his operational expertise and will lead Google Fiber as the high-speed Internet and television service expands to new cities.

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Google and Samsung’s relationship continues to worsen, this time over wearables

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According to a new report out of The Information, the already tense relationship between Samsung and Google has begun to worsen thanks to both of their own lines of wearables. The report claims that Google CEO Larry Page and Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee took part in an a “tense” private meeting at the Allen & Co. conference last week in Sun Valley. The meeting reportedly centered around Page being frustrated that Samsung was investing more in its smartwatches running Tizen than the ones running Android Wear.

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Google’s co-founders on how they nearly sold the company, how they differ from Apple & more

In a ‘fireside chat’ with leading venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin talked about the moment they thought they’d sold the company to him for $1.6M.

There were four of us at the time – four grad students at Stanford. I remember, we fired off this note to Vinod. It was just a little e-mail that said, “We really don’t want to sell, but for $1.6 million, you got a deal.” And a few minutes later, we got a reply that said, “That’s a lot of dough, but ok we’ll do it.” That’s characteristic Vinod there. So then, ten minutes later, Scott – one of the four of us – comes running in, laughing. Huge grin on his face. He had faked the reply and back then, the ethics around faking emails weren’t quite the same. Anyway, so he had that big joke. The deal obviously never came to fruition, and we went our own way to build search …

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Larry Page says healthcare data-mining could save thousands of lives

 

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A large chunk of the world’s population has a great fear of data-mining, however the paranoia of being spied on could be costing people their lives, according to Google’s co-founder Larry Page. The Mountain View executive recently addressed concerns about the way that Google handles sensitive information and Page made the argument that there are some benefits to data-mining.

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100 billion searches a month, but a million miles to go, say Google founders

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In Google’s annual Founders Letter, Larry Page revealed that Google was handling more than 100 billion searches a month, but said that the service was still “a million miles” from the service he’d like to see Google become.

In many ways, we’re a million miles away from creating the search engine of my dreams, one that gets you just the right information at the exact moment you need it with almost no effort.  That’s partly because understanding information in a deep way is a hard problem to solve …

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Google chairman Eric Schmidt, other tech CEOs meet with Obama, NSA

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Google chariman Eric Schmidt joined a group of tech CEOs who met with the president and members of the administration today to discuss the implementation of recently-announced changes in the National Security Administration’s spying practices. Other CEOs in the group represented Facebook, Dropbox, Netflix, and more. Along with the president were several advisors and councilors, including the Deputy Director of the NSA.

The executives were updated on the status of changes to the NSA’s spying policies that were first detailed last year and continued to be further expanded upon in recent months. These CEOs were among those who signed an open letter to the federal government comdemning the unwarranted sue of spying tactics to intercept and store communications sent via various online platforms.

Earlier this week Google’s Larry Page also discussed the NSA and issues of privacy during the TED conference.

Video: Larry Page discusses NSA, privacy, healthcare at TED conference

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Google CEO Larry Page made a somewhat rare public appearance this week speaking with CBS’s Charlie Rose at the TED ideas conference in Vancouver. During the conversation, Page expressed his ‘tremendous’ disappointment in the government using the NSA to conduct surveillance in secret and how that affects democracy. He noted the importance of having a conversation about privacy and democracy as Google tries to protect its users’ privacy as we share more and more information. (Video below) Read more

Google rewarding three top executives with bonuses of more than $3 million

Googler Patric Pichette

Googler Patric Pichette

In a filing with the SEC today, Google has revealed that it will be giving three of its top executives bonuses of more than $3 million. Co-founder and CEO Larry Page will not be awarded a bonus, nor will co-founder Sergey Brin. The two co-founders also take a salary of $1 a year, as their wealth is tied almost entirely into Google stock.

Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will be receiving a $3.5 million bonus, up from $2.8 million last year. Chief Legal Officer David C. Drummond will receive a bonus of $3 million, down slightly from the $3.3 million he was paid last year. Finally, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette’s bonus increased to $3 million from $2.8 million.

Last month, Google announced that it had paid Eric Schmidt $6 million in cash and given him $100 million in restricted stock.

The bonuses issued to Arora, Drummond, and Pichette will be paid out on March 14th.

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Google SVP Sundar Pichai denies it bid on WhatsApp

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai at D: All Things Digital conference

Despite widespread reporting that Google bid and failed to purchase WhatsApp ahead of Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of the messaging platform company, Google SVP Sundar Pichai went on the record during a panel discussion at Mobile World Congress to put that claim to bed, The Telegraph reports.

“Whatsapp was definitely an exciting product,” he said. “We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue.”

The source of the reports that Google attempted to pick up WhatsApp for $10 billion source back to a report by Fortune citing “two separate sources” claiming Google had previously underbid Facebook. Read more