January 20, 2011

Along with its fourth-quarter earnings statement today, Eric Schmidt announced he was stepping down as Google's CEO and will be succeeded by Larry Page.

Page, Google's co-founder, will begin his duties as chief officer April 4, Schmidt announced in a company blog post.

"In this new role I know he will merge Google’s technology and business vision brilliantly. I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better! Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead."

Schmidt joined Google as its CEO in 2001. He will continue on with the company as executive chairman. He said the decision came over the holidays, when he, Page and Google co-founder Servey Brin discussed how to streamline the company's decision-making process.

"For the last 10 years, we have all been equally involved in making decisions," Schmidt wrote. "This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us. But we have also agreed to clarify our individual roles so there’s clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company."

Brin will continue devoting his time to strategic projects, Schmidt said, and will maintain the title of co-founder.

"We are confident that this focus will serve Google and our users well in the future," Schmidt said. "Larry, Sergey and I have worked exceptionally closely together for over a decade—and we anticipate working together for a long time to come. As friends, co-workers and computer scientists we have a lot in common, most important of all a profound belief in the potential for technology to make the world a better place. We love Google—our people, our products and most of all the opportunity we have to improve the lives of millions of people around the world."

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