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Google CEO Larry Page discusses his year, vision for future

April 05, 2012|By Jessica Guynn
  • Google's Larry Page, shown in 2010, is one year into his second stint as CEO.
Google's Larry Page, shown in 2010, is one year into his second stint… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)

Larry Page isn’t big on sharing.

But on Thursday he published a 3,459-word “update” after his first year back as chief executive of Google.

In it, he underscored Google’s commitment to making big long-term bets and to its social networkGoogle+, but he did not make any big revelations or provide any financial details.

Google is due to report first-quarter financial results next week.

Page took over from Eric Schmidt as CEO last April. It is his second stint as Google's CEO, his first as the CEO of a publicly traded company.

“Since becoming CEO again, I’ve pushed hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution and focus on the big bets that will make a difference in the world,” Page wrote. “Google is a large company now, but we will achieve more, and do it faster, if we approach life with the passion and soul of a start-up.”

Over the last year, he has pushed Google to be more aggressive and to counter the growing threat posed by Facebook's immense popularity on the Web.

Google unveiled Google+ nine months ago. It now has more than 100 million users, and it’s helping Google learn more about its users.

Facebook, with 845 million users, has the richest hoard of personal information any company has ever had, giving it insight into people's relationships, lives and interests and the ability to precisely target ads.

Google sold $36.5 billion in advertising last year, 10 times more than Facebook's $3.2 billion, but analysts are concerned that Google could lose its competitive edge to the social networking giant, which is on the verge of an initial public stock offering that is expected eclipse Google’s 2004 IPO.

In his update, in which he sets out his vision for the future, Page touches on “next-generation search,” in which search results are more tailored to individual users; defends changes to the company’s privacy policies; signals Google’s intention to make hardware devices when it completes its $12.5-billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings; and highlights the company's work on cars and other bold experiments.

He also pushes back against the notion that Google had abandoned its old slogan “Don’t be evil.”

“We have always wanted Google to be a company that is deserving of great love,” he wrote. “We have always believed that it’s possible to make money without being evil.”

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