Media speculation about why Eric Schmidt is ceding the Google chief executive role to Larry Page is "completely false," Schmidt told a group of reporters Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Instead, Schmidt repeated Google's previously disclosed explanation that the management reshuffle is about clarifying and tightening lines of authority among the troika that has jointly run Google for a decade.
Schmidt also brushed off Facebook as a competitor and once again called Microsoft Google's true competition. "I publicly said the next 10 years will be as successful as the past 10. We're going to run this way for a while. It's a full-time job just to deal with" the areas Schmidt will oversee, he said. These include "all the external stuff: customers, partners, deals, M&A, government, press, publicity and marketing. It was misinterpereted by many people who didn't understand what I was doing."
He also said Sergey Brin, the other co-founder, will focus on "the order of three big initiatives," on which Schmidt didn't elaborate.
Schmidt also challenged the assertion that Google is locked in a competitive battle with Facebook. Schmidt said he was perplexed by the Facebook obsession because "the facts don't support it."
"[Facebook] has clearly stated they don't want to get into the search business. Facebook users tend to use Google search. Facebook's ads business doesn't displace our advertising."
[tags]management,davos,world economic forum,switzerland[/tags]