Warwick Ashford sent me this interesting post about Google:
Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has been talking a lot about green energy in the US leading to speculation that he may be thinking about stepping down to pursue new interests. Schmidt has also been making suggestions about which technology issues should be a priority for the US government next year. Taken together, there may well be something in the speculation that he is considering a role in the new US administration due to take power in January. This could have big implications for Google’s future, which has gone from $86m to over $20bn from 2001 to 2008 under Schmidt’s leadership. It is even more plausible that Schmidt is thinking of moving on considering Google managed to end the third quarter of 2008 with a strong profit of $1.35 in the face of financial uncertainty. Now would probably be a relatively good time to bow out and let other worry about how to get returns on Google’s $1.65bn investment in YouTube. However, it all remains nothing more than speculations which means that Schmidt is as likely to step down as Google CEO as not. Schmidt remained confident about the “underlying strength” of Google’s core search and ads business when the third quarter financial results were announced. I would not put any money on Schmidt leaving Google just yet. He seems driven by challenges and not easily daunted. If I were him, I would also want to prove they YouTube can be made to pay its way and that that faith in Google’s core business model was not misplaced.