Eric Schmidt wasn’t always “in the know” as Google CEO

Thu, Jan 27, 2011


Though Eric Schmidt will no longer be responsible for handling day-to-day CEO duties at Google, an old 2009 interview with the former CEO reveals that even as the head honcho, he wasn’t always aware of what good ole’ Larry and Sergey were up to.

Reporter: Please talk about M&A plans and goal of one acquisition per month.

Schmidt: That’s been our historic pattern. I think we will be buying small companies – 5, 10 people. That’s where some of our best stuff has been. One day Larry and Sergey bought Android, and I didn’t even notice. Think about the strategic opportunities that has created. Sergey found Google Earth one day while he was surfing on the Web. And then he walked into my office and told me he bought them. “And I said, “for how much,” Sergey?” And it turned out to be a few million.

Truth be told, this actually seems to be a good thing. Apparently Larry and Sergey have always been able to operate independently of Schmidt as it pertains to acquisitions, or at the very least, merely keep him abreast of what shenanigans they’ve been up to. – and so far they seem to know what they’re doing.


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