UPDATED: Google Inc. is replacing CEO Eric Schmidt with co-founder Larry Page in a surprise jumbling of company positions.
Schmidt, who has been the chief executive since July 2001 since taking Page’s position, will be moved from his CEO position to executive chairman with an external focus on partnerships and government outreach.
Page will take over day-to-day CEO operations from April 4, while co-founder Sergey Brin focuses on strategic projects and new products.
Schmidt wrote on his official Google blog that the change was made “to clarify our individual roles so there’s clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company.”
Schmidt was originally assigned as CEO to see the company through its public listing and rapid growth stages, moving to Google from Novell.
Wall Street Journal sources claim some of the reasons behind Schmidt’s change of posting were that he was overstretched and that he was tired of dealing with reporters.
Google relies mostly on its search ad revenue and has been exceeding profit margins in successive quarters, but has also seen rapid growth in its venture out into mobile software with the Android operating system.
Schmidt puts the latest growth figures of revenue jumping 29% down to “continuous product innovation that benefits both users and advertisers, and by the extraordinary momentum of our newer businesses, such as display and mobile.”
As Google moves further into phones and tabs, it looks to clarify each player at the top end of the company’s role, hence the switching of positions and duties.