RealTime IT News

Google Picks a Seasoned Exec

Web search operation Google Inc. named the former CEO of Novell Inc. as its chief executive, succeeding 28-year-old Larry Page, one of the site's founders.

The privately held Mountain View, Calif.-based company selected Eric E. Schmidt, 46, who had been appointed chairman of Google's board of directors last March. Schmidt brings more than 20 years of software development, management and marketing experience to Google.

Google was founded in 1998 by Page and Sergey Brin, two Stanford University Ph.D. candidates who developed the site's Internet search technology, widely viewed as both effective and efficient. Google WebSearch technology is now used in more than 30 countries by clients including Yahoo! and Netscape's Netcenter portal. Google also sells targeted advertising.

Schmidt had been chairman and CEO of Novell since 1997. He remains chairman of the board at Novell, which recently completed its acquisition of Cambridge Technology Partners, and subsequently named Jack Messman, Cambridge's CEO, to head Novell.

Prior to his appointment at Novell, Schmidt was chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems Inc., where he led the development of Java.

"Eric is exactly the right leader for Google," said Page. "His extensive technology background and vision for the potential of the Internet complement the efforts that Google is making ... His strong management experience will help shape Google ... And most importantly ... Eric is a natural fit with our corporate culture."

Page becomes president of products. Brin, 27, becomes president of technology. Google's backers include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.