Google's Page to replace Schmidt as CEO

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that, starting April 4, Google Co-Founder Larry Page will take charge of Google's day-to-day operations as CEO. He will replace current CEO Eric Schmidt, who will assume the role of executive chairman "focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership," the company said.

Google CEO Larry page"Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" Schmidt wrote on Twitter.

Sergey Brin, Google's other co-founder, will work on "strategic projects," the company said.

The news is notable as Google hired Schmidt in 2001 to oversee Page and Brin, who started the search giant but seemed dwarfed by its success.

In brief comments during Google's quarterly earnings conference call, Page said Google is "only at the beginning," but did not provide any further details.

In its fourth quarter, Google reported revenues of $8.44 billion for the fourth quarter, up 26 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2009. Google's net income in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $2.54 billion, up from $1.97 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.

During the company's earnings conference call, Google executives provided little insight into the company's wide-ranging mobile business. The company said it is activating 300,000 Android devices per day, and has seen mobile searches increase 10 times year over year. Executives also said mobile commerce and local business searches represent a major opportunity in mobile.

A number of major manufacturers, including Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, sell phones running Google's Android software. The company is poised to release version 3.0 of Android, which is designed for tablet devices. Further, Google offers a range of mobile services including search and document editing.

Google's Schmidt is scheduled to give a keynote appearance at next month's Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

For more:
- see this release
- see this FierceWireless Q4 earnings page

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