It's official: Google co-founder Larry Page has taken the reins as CEO of the online search company, filling the same job he held between 1998 and 2001 before the company hired Eric Schmidt to serve as CEO.
Schmidt, per an announcement Google made in January, will stay on as the company's executive chairman where he will focus on external deals, customers and partnerships, as well as government outreach and technology thought-leadership.
At the time of the January announcement Schmidt said the change was intended to simplify Google's management structure and speed up decision making. Page has taken over day-to-day management of Google's operations, including leading the company's technology strategy.
Page is already making some bold decisions. Citing the "explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation," Google said Monday that it is bidding $900 million for Nortel's patent portfolio in that company's bankruptcy auction. That's according to a blog post by Kent Walker, Google senior vice president and general counsel.
Sergey Brin, Page's Google co-founder, is now focusing on strategic projects and new products.
During Schmidt's 10-year term Google grew into an industry behemoth with fiscal 2010 sales of more than $29 billion. It has arguably become the most influential company in the IT industry with its huge presence in online search, online advertising, e-mail, browser software, Internet video and mobile software, among other market and technology areas.