Prior to the company's 2004 IPO, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt made a pact that would keep them at Google for at least 20 years, according to spokesman Jon
Murchinson. Good news for shareholders: that means that Page, Brin and Schmidt have another 16 years at the helm of the world's most popular and powerful Internet company. Sandeep Aggarwal, analyst
at Oppenheimer & Co., says the pact was "very, very positive," as "this tells me that the opportunities for Google are immense, and that they've just cracked the surface."
Despite the trio's long-term commitment, Google's stock has been punished so far this year, falling 22 percent, as investors worry the Web giant could spend as much as $4.6 billion to acquire radio spectrum in the current FCC auction. Even if Google wins the portion of spectrum it desires, building a wireless network would cost billions more. "To the extent that Google appears to be a bidder in to win, we expect greater uncertainty and investor anxiety," said Rob Sanderson, an analyst at American Technology Research.
Page, Brin and Schmidt made it clear in the Google shareholder's "Owner's Manual" that they were willing to sacrifice short-term results for long-term gains. "We will have the fortitude to do this. We would request that our shareholders take the long-term view."