Google Product Executive Bids Adieu As Page Takes Reins

April 5, 2011 0

Mountain View, California — Larry Page took over as Google chief executive on Monday, and his first day on the job, marked a significant management restructuring at the top has already begun. Global search engine behemoth Google Inc., has confirmed that its senior vice president for product management , who has been at the company since 2002 plans to quit, a move that may give freer rein to new CEO as he attempts to reorganize the company.

Page, who took the helm at Google as CEO from Eric Schmidt today, has promised to create a more nimble, startup-minded atmosphere at the company.

Rosenberg announced his resignation today, the Mountain View, California-based company said in an e-mailed statement, according to Business Insider, who reported the matter. He oversaw the design and creation of all of Google’s products, including consumer and business services.

Jonathan Rosenberg (Credit: Google)

“We tried to hire Jonathan multiple times because he was the only person we could imagine doing the job,” a statement from Google CEO Larry Page read. “It is lucky we were so relentless because he has built an amazing team–hiring great people, who have created amazing products that have benefited over a billion users around the world.”

According to Business Insider, Rosenberg had intended to leave the company in a few years, when his teenage daughter leaves for college, so he could not make a long-term commitment, but that Page wants executives to commit in the long run. So Rosenberg, decided to bow out early, and will take some time off this summer and then work as a consultant for the company, the report said.

Nevertheless, the timing of Rosenberg’s departure raises questions about how Page might reorganize Google’s management team, more importantly, its approach to products. He said in January that he would concentrate on products — Rosenberg’s core responsibility — when he returned as chief executive, as did Sergey Brin, Google’s other co-founder.

Surprisingly, the leaving of a senior executive may help that proposition by making business divisions more independent, said Stephen Miles, vice chairman at executive consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles.

“What they will try and do is engage people in specific business divisions in order to speed up those businesses, instead of having an overarching group of people who pick and choose where they spend their time,” Miles said.

Outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt also issued a statement: “Jonathan is phenomenal–hugely energetic, strategic, a man of real principle who always puts the user first. He has been crucial to our success over the last nine years and I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done. It has been wonderful working with him–and great fun.”

Rosenberg joined Google in 2002, soon after the arrival of Schmidt. And it seems that like Schmidt, the hire was intended to add some sort of adult supervision to the company. Rosenberg is 49, a decade old than the likes of Page and co-founder Brin, and prior to joining Google, he worked at Apple Inc., and the now defunct cable internet broadband outfit Excite@Home, and other Silicon Valley companies. Last month, Google awarded him a bonus of $1.7 million and $5 million in stock.

Interestingly, the article also said that Rosenberg, also taught some of the people who have become its most important executives today, like Marissa Mayer, the head of local products; Salar Kamangar, the chief executive of YouTube; and Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president for advertising.

Moreover, Rosenberg has been one of the most powerful Google employees for some time now. In late 2009, he authored a 4,000-word manifesto about “openness” and what it means to the culture of Google, widely regarded as an affirmation that Google sees itself not just as a corporation but also as a force for good. Later, he also plans to write a book with outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt about “the values, rules and creation of Google’s management culture”.

Furthermore, Page, who co-founded Google with Brin in 1998, faces the challenge of invigorating a company that now has annual revenue of almost $30 billion and a market value approaching $200 billion.

“Every time we increase the size of the company, we need to keep things going to make sure we keep our speed, pace and passion,” he said in an interview earlier this year.

But Rosenberg said in a statement that this is not why he is leaving. “We are obviously going through a transition here; Larry is stepping into the role of CEO. And I think it was important to him that he establish and build around an executive team that intended to be here for many, many years,” he said.

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