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From left to right - Google's top management, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a self-driving car, Thursday, Jan 20, 2011, at Google's headquarters, Mountain View California.
Google reports fourth-quarter profit jumped 29%;
Co-founder Larry Page to take over as CEO from April
Google on Thursday reported fourth-quarter profit jumped 29% to $2.54bn,
or $7.81 a share, up from $1.97bn, or $6.13 a share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 26% to $8.44bn. Google also announced that co-founder Larry
Page will take over as CEO from April.
“Our strong performance has been driven
by a rapidly growing digital economy, continuous product innovation that
benefits both users and advertisers, and by the extraordinary momentum of our
newer businesses, such as display and mobile,”
Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement.
Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president of
product management said on a conference call that revenue from YouTube doubled
this year, while the number of searches from the mobile phone system Android
rose tenfold with 300,000 phones activated each day.
Google does not provide a breakdown of ad
revenue, but eMarketer, a research firm, said that Google accounted for 13.4% of
display ad revenue in the United States last year, up from 4.7% in 2009.
Meanwhile, Yahoo, the market leader, lost share, eMarketer said.
Rosenberg said that this year the company
will focus on products that enable people to access local information on mobile
phones, as well as commerce, adding that the two are tied together.
“They key to unlocking mobile commerce was to make it easier for people to
both search and then consummate the transaction on the mobile device,” he
“As smartphones become ubiquitous and local businesses put their inventory
online, I think this will be the year that smartphones,” change the way
commerce is done, he added.
Starting from April 4, Larry Page (38), Google
co-founder, will take charge of Google's day-to-day operations as Chief
Executive Officer; Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, will devote his energy to
strategic projects, in particular working on new products. Eric Schmidt
(55) will assume the role of Executive Chairman, focusing externally on deals,
partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach
and technology thought leadership--all of which are increasingly important given
Google's global reach. Internally, he will continue to act as an advisor to
Larry and Sergey.
Commenting on these changes, Schmidt said:
"We've been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and
speed up decision making for a long time. By clarifying our individual roles
we'll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the
company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I'm excited about
working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come."
"I have learned a ton from him over the years," Page said of
Schmidt in a conference call. "I cannot be more excited about moving us
forward, and we are really only at the beginning."