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Google CEO Goes Back To Startup Mode

Eric Schmidt will no longer be the CEO of Google as of one week from now. Google’s co-founder Larry Page will be taking over as Google’s CEO. According to EdibleApple, Amir Efrati of the Wall Street Journal notes many of the changes that Larry Page has already started with the intention of making Google more nimble and less bureaucratic (something that is often inevitable with larger companies). Since Google now employs over 24,000 people, Page finds it essential to enhance transparency between executives and employees. Google used to have a policy called the 20% rule where employees would take off one day out of the week to work on projects that aren’t part of their job description. This is a great way for Google employees to bring innovative ideas to life but at the same time causes the problem of having many overlapping projects. Well known services like Google’s Gmail and Google News originated from the 20% rule, so we can see how much potential having a free day means.

Since Page knows that Google employees have a lot on their plate, he wants to trim the excess fat off the steak and get down to the real meat of the company’s values. Page has begun asking his product and engineering managers to email him what they’ve been working on in 60 words or less. The goal in this debriefing is for current managers to pitch their projects, emphasizing the value of what they are working on, that is, if they want to continue their work. If Page doesn’t deem their projects as worthy enough, he will likely reassign them to more pressing matters. The “good news” of all this is that Page also wants to improve communications between execs and non-execs by hosting a “bullpen” session every afternoon where all ranks at Google HQ sit down on couches and discuss company matters. The underlying goal? Get Google running like a start-up again and remove barriers that prevent innovation–and carrying a high value for transparency.

Photo Courtesy of Niall Kennedy
Photo Courtesy of Robert Scoble
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