Even though Larry Page has been CEO of Google for just about 6 months now, he hasn’t been as visible as many other high-profile CEOs. In fact, the most we’ve heard from him has been during earnings calls. But today during Google’s annual Zeitgeist conference, Page took the stage to address the audience. Watch the entire 45-minute talk above.
Page talked about a range of things — everything from Search to Android to YouTube to Chrome to Google+ to Nikola Tesla (the great inventor who “failed”). But things got more interesting when Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman who, of course, preceded Page as CEO, joined Page on stage for a Q&A. They talk the Motorola deal (while it will nearly double the size of Google’s workforce, Page jokes that he wished it doubled their market cap too), patents (Page notes Google has never sued anyone over patents), innovation (the self-driving cars), and agility (changing the company every year).
At one point, Schmidt takes a shot at Microsoft calling them “one of our former competitors” to laughs. When asked about Yahoo, Schmidt declined to say much but did acknowledge that “they need to sort out their leadership issues”. He also called out “the mindless and stupid policy” with regard to immigration, calling it a “national crisis”.
When In The Plex author Steven Levy asked what the biggest threat to Google was right now, Page said “Google,” with a big smile on his face. Schmidt tried to be more nuanced: “the problems in a company of Google’s scale are always internal at some level.” “Yeah, that’s why I said ‘Google’,” Page shot back with, to laughs from the audience.
Page also said that the slow down of decision-making as companies grow in size is “tragic”. That’s his aim as CEO, to make sure that doesn’t happen.