Google's Outgoing CEO Expects to Stay for 10 More Years

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

Google's outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt expects to spend another 10 years with the search giant. He is moving into the executive chairman role and will hand over his CEO title over to co-founder Larry Page in April.

Jan 25 (Reuters) - Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) outgoing Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said on Tuesday he expected to spend another 10 years at the company, after his surprise handover last week to co-founder Larry Page.

Schmidt, who oversaw the company's meteoric rise, also said the group would hire thousands of people this year in response to accusations that it has struggled to retain its best talent.

"I'm very personally excited about my next decade at Google," he told the DLD media conference in Munich.

From April, Schmidt will focus on deals and government outreach as executive chairman.

Schmidt told Reuters on Jan. 21 that his move was an effort to speed up decision-making.

He is also set to get a $100 million equity award, his first since joining the company in 2001, which will vest over four years and includes stock units and options.

Google last week reported earnings and revenue that far exceeded expectations.

But while Google has dominated Internet search, it has struggled with social networking and is facing stiff competition from companies like Facebook and Twitter, which are stealing web traffic and engineering talent.

"Our retention has been actually the same and our retention has been exactly the same for seven years" he said at a news conference following his DLD appearance.

"We're going to be hiring many thousands of people this year."

Schmidt said that in his new role he would be able to spend more time on government issues and Google's public image, among other things.

"We've got very complicated government issues, he said, adding however that Google's position in China appeared to be stable for the time being, following a renewal of its licence there last June.

Google threatened to pull out of China after a high-profile hacking incident but eventually came to an agreement with the government and now runs a reduced service.

"I think it's stable, he said, before adding: "You never know. It's possible for the government of China to cause us not to work."

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan. Editing by Jane Merriman)