Search: A Page in Google's Next Chapter
It's not clear whether Larry Page's return to run Google will breathe new life into the technology company or find it slipping to second place and forced to play catch-up to another Internet giant. One thing is for sure - the cofounder, along with Sergey Brin, will shake things up.
On April 4, Page's first day back at the helm, Google's senior vice president and general counsel, Kent Walker, acknowledged the plan to bid on Nortel Networks' patents that the bankrupt telecom company will be auctioning off. Google's starting offer for the rights was $900 million. Reports suggest Google wants the patents, ranging from wireless to semiconductor technology, to strengthen its position in the mobile market.
That mobile market will prove lucrative to the company that can provide paid search advertising services as well as display ads, mobile payments and more. Mobile payments supported by near-field communication (NFC) technology will lay the foundation for a myriad of applications and services. Mobile handset makers have begun to add NFC semiconductor chips into hardware. Companies believe this technology represents an opportunity to create value-added services and increase data revenue. Advertisers will find it improves ad targeting.
Google joined the NFC Forum, an industry trade group aimed at advancing the use of the technology, in March as a principal member. Principal members can participate in tests and certification programs similar to the tests being conducted by Google in New York. It also gives employees of the member company the ability to run for leadership positions on NFC committees or working groups. Former NFC Forum associate members, CSR and Intel, also upped their stakes in the organization to principal status.
Page has a reputation for inherently knowing how one technology influences another, digging deep into complicated algorithms and finding the solution before others realize a problem exists. But he also is known for being "awkward, aloof and dismissive of those who don't see the world in the unique way that he does," according to the SFGate.
Typically, a founder or cofounder will return to run the company when it strays from its original mission or growth becomes stagnant. The SFGate suggests part of Google's problem may lie in the fact that "increasingly, regulators, rivals, judges and consumer advocates are showing they don't view the world through Google-tinted goggles." Page, 38, will have his work cut out for him. The same day he took the helm, Google announced Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's senior vice president of product management, would leave the company, which some suggest puts into question Page's management style. Rosenberg, 49, who joined the company in 2002, told The San Jose Mercury News the timing was not coincidental and the incoming CEO needed to build his own executive team.