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Why Eric Schmidt Left As CEO of Google? 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-this-job-and-shove-it dept.
Edsj writes "According to The New Yorker: 'Schmidt, according to associates, lost some energy and focus after losing the China decision. At the same time, Google was becoming defensive. All of their social-network efforts had faltered. Facebook had replaced them as the hot tech company, the place vital engineers wanted to work. Complaints about Google bureaucracy intensified. Governments around the world were lobbing grenades at Google over privacy, copyright, and size issues. The “don’t be evil” brand was getting tarnished, and the founders were restive. Schmidt started to think of departing. Nudged by a board-member friend and an outside adviser that he had to re-energize himself, he decided after Labor Day that he could reboot. He couldn't.'"
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Why Eric Schmidt Left As CEO of Google?

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  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:18PM (#34974510) Journal

    So basically what they're saying is "Eric Schmidt is pro-evil".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:19PM (#34974516)

    Corporations are "pro-evil"

    Evil is power.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:20PM (#34974526)

    You heard it here first.

  • well then good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:23PM (#34974558) Homepage Journal

    don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, mr. schit

    sergey brin emigrated to the usa at age 6 from russia. it is my understanding his strong anti-censorship views comes from what his parents imparted on him from their experience in the totalitarian ussr

    so good for you mr. brin, bless you. maybe google can be a force for good in this world and not a data abusing behemoth like facebook as long as you draw breath

  • by emurphy42 (631808) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:27PM (#34974592) Homepage

    or at least not clearly right. Context from TFA:

    Schmidt, according to associates, lost some energy and focus after losing the China decision. At the same time, Google was becoming defensive. All of their social-network efforts had faltered. Facebook had replaced them as the hot tech company, the place vital engineers wanted to work. Complaints about Google bureaucracy intensified. Governments around the world were lobbing grenades at Google over privacy, copyright, and size issues. The “don’t be evil” brand was getting tarnished, and the founders were restive. Schmidt started to think of departing.

    This doesn't mean that Schmidt wanted to move away from "don't be evil", he may have just been worn out from trying to uphold it for as large and diverse a company as Google is.

  • by HateBreeder (656491) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:35PM (#34974668)

    Seeing as he is/was in apple's board of directors, that's not so far fetched.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:58PM (#34974860)

    No, the whole thing is a PR sham to make you believe that the change doesn't mean anything. Now, the 'good guys' are back in charge.

    Puhleeze.

    This is an over-capitalized corporation trying to convince the world that the stock price is ok, don't sell, don't short, believe in the magic, etc.

    Speculation about Schmidt's change is pretty meaningless. He left Sun. He left Novell. Now he's in semi-retirement at Google.

    Next.

  • Re:Good track record (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @03:45PM (#34975216) Journal
    Not only that, I object to the characterization of Facebook as a better place to work that Google. Facebook might be nice if you want to pretend you're still in a college frat house with toys and a full bar [time.com]. That kind of thing appeals to college students (including me when I was in college), but if you're the type of programmer who wants to work at a place where you can do interesting programming things, Google is WAY better than Facebook.

    Google has a lot of interesting projects going on, with 20% (somewhat) discretionary time, but Facebook has a single website that I almost wish didn't exist. No question where I'd rather work.
  • by PPalmgren (1009823) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @04:05PM (#34975338)

    A majority of Google's business model relies on an open and free internet. Censorship and government control pass the decision-making on what product the use from the consumers to government authorities. To play in to that philosophy is the beginning of the end of Google.

    Also, their stance gives them a selling point and differentiator in their domestic market. There are significant benefits for their decision that do not comprimise the core company values, thus hurting the identity of the company. When the scales are even, you go with the gold not the gamble.

  • by khallow (566160) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @04:47PM (#34975588)

    Capital has just as much ability to employ armed force

    They don't. They depend on government for enforcement of contracts and laws.

    Suitably large businesses are no better than governments, and more likely to be autocratic and authoritarian in nature.

    Employment at those businesses is voluntary. You agree to the autocratic/authoritarian control only as long as you work there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2011 @06:19PM (#34976216)

    Google does everything by committee internally (and slowly, I might add). Promotions, job offers, designs, etc. It is as if the company is designed to fail when it reaches critical mass. The message from my friends who work there: not only will you not get rich, you won't promotions unless you somehow create a proof package demonstrating your value, and a committee approves it.

    Insanity, I'll stick with smaller tech.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @06:25PM (#34976250) Journal
    The topic might have been interesting, but as soon as I followed the link to the site, I noticed that it looked like something designed by someone from 1993.. he actual content stuffed in a column only 460 pixels wide. There's more (480 poxels) devoted to useless crap on the righthand sidebars. And almost half is devoted to ... nothing ... because, like most people, I have a widescreen monitor, not one of those "Best Viewed Using Internet Explorer at 800x600" screens.

    No wonder newspapers and magazines are dying - they still don't "get" it.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @07:06PM (#34976534)
    Google's PR problems started at the same time that Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp saw them as a serious competitor for the advertising dollar. That is why "Governments around the world were lobbing grenades at Google" after Murdoch went around the world talking to governments about the evils of the net and most likely calling in favours. Even the streetview wireless thing was really a non-event until it was blown way out of proportion by the Murdoch press.
  • Re:Good track record (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @07:09PM (#34976542) Homepage

    Not only that, I object to the characterization of Facebook as a better place to work that Google.

    Yeah, I think someone's been doing a few too many lunches with Facebook reps. I've never heard this one. To be perfectly honest, the one company I still hear "vital engineers" talk about working for (if they can't work at Google) is Microsoft. /.ers may hate Microsoft on principle, but where else could you go and end up working on .... well, you name it. Look at all the stuff coming out of Microsoft Research, even if it's never productized. An engineer who goes to work for a start-up might get to work on one really interesting idea, for stock options. An engineer who goes to Microsoft and gets disillusioned with one idea can get transferred to another one and still keep seniority and a highly competitive compensation package. Facebook? It might have a big valuation, but it sounds like just another Web start-up to me -- a few opportunities for engineers, but a lot more for marketing types and other "visionaries."

  • I think "We're acting in accordance with the goals outlined in our articles of incorporation, with which stockholders indicated their concurrence when they bought the stock" is pretty much an ironclad defense, unless said stockholders can prove that the corporation's actions are not in fact in accordance with the defined goals.

    The fact that most corporations' articles of incorporation specify profit as their primary goal doesn't mean all of them have to, and Google's don't.

  • Re:Pray tell (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grcumb (781340) on Monday January 24, 2011 @01:45AM (#34978630) Homepage Journal

    Of all of your idiotic claims about the US, only one holds water, that the global meltdown started in the US. But bad crises and wars start somewhere, you can't blame based on where they start. For example, the Second World War started in Poland and the First World War started in Serbia. So are Poland and Serbia responsible for their respective world wars?

    Points of fact that doesn't serve your argument very well:

    WWI was precipitated by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The war was started when an empire in decline decided to exert its will upon a state it had annexed and occupied for some years.

    So, in truth, the lesson to be drawn here is that empires in decline should be wary of unbottling very powerful genies when they try to act in their declining years as they did in their prime. Kind of supports the GP's argument more than yours, I'm afraid to say.

    WWII was started, not by Poland, but by Germany in its attempt to build an empire for itself. Here, the parallels are stronger between the US' recent bellicosity and Germany's. In both cases, we see unprovoked attacks against a strategically useful but virtually defenseless nation, resulting in tragic consequences, both the the aggressor and the defender. Yet again, an object lesson again that speaks more to the GP's point than yours.

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