Windfall for Schmidt

Profits for Schmidt

The digital and SEO world is looking to the future following Thursday's surprise announcement of a management shake-up at Google. An official blog post revealed that as of 4 April 2011, co-founder Larry Page will be returning to the helm as CEO, with Eric Schmidt becoming Executive Chairman. Schmidt was brought in a decade ago to oversee Page and Sergey Brin, but on Thursday tweeted: "Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!"

Over the weekend, it emerged that the move could be highly rewarding for Eric Schmidt. According to Reuters, Google Inc will give the former CEO an equity award of $100 million (£62 million). Meanwhile, speculation is rife over what he will do with his 9.2 million company shares, worth £3.6 billion. The Guardian reports that Schmidt has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, intending to sell 534,000 shares during 2011, earning him around £205 million.

The future of Google

Of course, Schmidt is not leaving Google; he will still hold 9.1 per cent of the company's voting power, and will advise Page and Brin. As Executive Chairman, he will also be working on government outreach, business partnerships and relationships.

Whether or not the new arrangement will work out is a hot topic all over the internet. Wired commented that Page was "destined to take the reins again" while former Google employees told the Economist that Schmidt was making it "difficult to get things done".

Meanwhile, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land told Page: "When you were last CEO of Google in 2001, the company was a much loved scrappy underdog with a bright future. Ten years later, you're coming back to the helm. Things have changed. You're soon to be steering a massive battleship that's taking on water from a number of hits over the years".

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