Google and the coming war

Fascinating — and perceptive — Forbes column by Ben Horowitz, the big-time venture capitalist, on what the changes at the top of Google really signify.

Recently, Eric Schmidt stepped down as CEO of Google and founder Larry Page took over. Much of the news coverage focused on Page’s ability to be the “face of Google” as Page is far more shy and introverted than the gregarious and articulate Schmidt. While an interesting issue, this analysis misses the main point. Eric Schmidt was much more than Google’s front man; as Google’s peacetime Chief Executive, he led the greatest technology business expansion in the last ten years. Larry Page, in contrast, seems to have determined that Google is moving into war and he clearly intends to be a wartime CEO. This will be a profound change for Google and the entire high-tech industry.

This is a really interesting piece which, among other things, points out that most management textbooks are written for ‘peacetime’ CEOs. Worth reading in full.