Google's Page analyzes his first year as CEO

In an open letter, he highlights his achievements.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Apr 10, 2012 9:31AM

One full year into his second stint as chief executive, Larry Page has asked employees of the 10-year-old Google (GOOG) to approach work with the "soul of a startup."

In his letter, written to discuss achievements and to set goals, Page makes his company's intentions clear by starting out with a note on social networking.


Page has been aggressive in pushing Google to challenge Facebook. Google+, the company's latest attempt at doing so, launched under him nine months ago. In straightforward numbers, Page tells the world that Google+ has 100 million active users and that it integrates with over 120 products, most owned by Google. Google still has some way to go to match Facebook's 850 million users, of course, but Page is thrilled the network is giving the company more information about its users.


Page also touts the development of next-generation and knowledgeable search that personalizes results, makes fewer mistakes, and understands "things, not strings." He also defends recent changes to the company's privacy policy, which came under much attack, by saying the information will only help the company build a "more intuitive experience" for the user.


Google still comes second to Apple (AAPL) in smartphone sales, but Page is excited that "over 850,000 devices are activated daily through a network of 55 manufacturers and more than 300 carriers." He is also excited by the $30 billion of business generated by the AdSense program, paying out that money to its content publishers. So far, Apple has been unable to make a serious challenge with iAds. In addition, he says the run-rate for the mobile advertising business in the third quarter of 2011 was $2.5 billion, and that mobile advertising revenue grew 2.5 times in the same time period two years earlier.


He defends shutting down products that didn't work, saying failed experiments often lead to a better future product. A silent shout-out to Buzz? According to Page, Google shut down 30 products under him this year, including Knol and Sidewiki. Page also talked about using his $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility to advance the hardware development of Android. He also highlighted the company's work on driver-less cars and other experiments.


The threat from the growing competition is never far, and he urges employees not to make mistakes, as "it's easy for users to go elsewhere because our competition is only a click away."


Aabha Rathee is a writer at Wall St. Cheat Sheet. As of this writing, she did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.


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