Google CEO Larry Page recently handed Sundar Pichai control of most of the company’s core products. The move was totally unexpected, but Larry Page had his reasons. The move was actually well thought-out, it just wasn’t one that any of us saw coming. The Wall Street Journal recently published a memo from Page explaining why he made the moves that he did. Google is being re-organized in order to give Page space to step back and focus on “the bigger picture.”
“As you age, even when you’re still a teenager like Google, you have to work hard to stay innovative,” Page wrote in the memo. “Innovation is messy, a disruptive process, and people tend to be more comfortable doing what they’ve always done with a few minor tweaks. … So I’m making … changes today to ensure we continue to strive for market-leading excellence and beyond in our existing already hugely successful products while also getting the next generation of big bets off the ground.”
Page sees the company as a teenage child, still needing to be nurtured and helped to maturity. It makes sense that he would hand off most of the day-to-day operations to someone who has proven that they can handle the job. Pichai was running the Chrome and ChromeOS teams, and then he was put in charge of the Android team after Andy Rubin left. Now Pichai will be running the teams for Search, Maps, Commerce and Ads, Google+, and Google’s infrastructure. That’s in addition to the Google Apps, Chrome, and Android teams he already oversees. Instead of the senior vice presidents of these teams reporting to Page, they now report to Pichai. This move leaves Sundar Pichai in charge of most of Google’s operations. They aren’t done, either. Page is looking to add more products to Google’s portfolio, growing as they have done in the past. Moving forward, there will be a renewed focus on keeping the business moving forward quickly. Page doesn’t want to get bogged down with large-scale corporate bureaucracy. “Our new approach is a more common corporate structure… Scalable, focused, and enables fast decision making,” Page wrote.