Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Larry Page Knows What He’s Doing

“Outlandish ideas and effective, pragmatic management rarely go hand in hand. What’s remarkable about Page is that while he’s been pushing his engineers and executives to pursue big dreams, he has also been running a complex $38 billion business of 53,000 workers with surprising efficacy. When he took over in April 2011, Google’s once-phenomenal innovation engine was showing signs of age, and bureaucracy was beginning to take root. Page quickly reorganized the company to give top executives more responsibility and accountability and to sharpen Google’s focus on a handful of product areas. The result is a more top-down and aggressive organization. The changes have ruffled the feathers of some old-timers who miss the more freewheeling ways of Google’s first decade. But almost everyone agrees that Google is running more cohesively and faster than when Page took over. It’s a feat that has surprised many in Silicon Valley, where Page’s wonkish, diffident persona is legendary. ‘Larry’s substance has been so high, and his ability to run the company so impressive, that he has overcome all those things,’ says Ben Horowitz, the entrepreneur and venture capitalist who often coaches first-time CEOs. ‘It’s fairly shocking how well he’s done.’”

Miguel Helft