Mountain View, Calif. – Citing a desire to "streamline
decision making and create clearer lines of responsibility at the top of the
company," Google on Thursday announced that CEO Eric Schmidt will step
down, becoming executive chairman, while co-founder Larry Page will take over
as chief executive. Sergey Brin, the company’s other co-founder, will step down
as president of technology, and instead "devote his energy to strategic
projects, in particular working on new products," the company said.

been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up
decision making for a long time," said Eric Schmidt.

"By clarifying
our individual roles we’ll create clearer responsibility and accountability at
the top of the company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I’m
excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come."

The news comes as Google reported that fourth quarter sales were up 28%, to
$6.37 billion, besting analysts’ forecasts.



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