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Eric Schmidt - CEO of Google - CEO Awards by CEO Q - The CEO Magazine: Most Respected CEOs, - Top CEOs, Best CEOs

Eric Schmidt
CEO of Google Inc.

Company Profile

Industry: Internet Search, Media and Advertising
Employees: 21,800
Revenues: $26.21B
Market Cap: $150B

CEO Achievements

Since joining Google in March 2001, he has helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global company. Today, Google is the Internet’s premier brand for search, media and advertising.

Half of Google's revenue comes from selling text-based ads that are placed near search results and are related to the topic of the search. Another half of its revenues come from licensing its search technology to companies like Yahoo.

As the CEO of Google, Eric has delivered steady growth while expanding Google’s global reach. He attributes this success to Google’s ability to attract and develop top talent. He built an organization and a work environment that allowed the free flow of information and encouraged employees to innovate. Google's internal work model is based on innovative collaborative projects. Staff devote 20 percent of their work time to special projects of their own design, a policy that is at the core of its innovation culture.

Google organizational and human capital strategy is summed up by Ivan Ernest, Head of HR, Engineering & Operations. "Hire learners. Trust them: give them freedom, information and tools. small projects, small teams. Flat structure. Discuss everything in public. Be meritocratic. Reward success, but don’t penalize failure.

As a CEO of Google in 2008 and 2009, Schmidt earned a base salary of just $1, and $508,763 in 2008 and $508,763 in 2009 in other compensation. He did not receive any cash, stock, or options. Schmidt is one of the few people who have become billionaires based on stock options received as an employee in a corporation.


Eric Schmidt left Novell after the acquisition of Cambridge Technology Partners. He was interviewed by the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin and hired him to run their company under the influence of venture capitalists John Doerr and Michael Moritz.

At Google, Schmidt shares responsibility for Google's daily operations with founders Page and Brin. Google is  a triumvirate (from Latin, "of three men") a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals. Schmidt focuses on building a global corporate infrastructure needed to maintain Google's rapid growth as a company and on ensuring that quality remains high while product development cycle times are kept to a minimum.

Schmidt's technical and business background uniquely prepared him to lead Google. Prior to joining Google, Eric was the CEO of Novell and Chief Technology Officer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Earlier in his career, Eric was a member of the research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and held positions at Bell Laboratories and Zilog. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University as well as a master's and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Eric is a member of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a fellow in 2007. Eric also chairs the board of the New America Foundation. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of Apple Inc. and sits on the board of trustees for Carnegie Mellon University and Princeton University.

CEO Insights

I'm able to bring business expertise but, more importantly, operating experience. The people here at Google are young. Every day there are lots of new challenges. I keep things focused. The speech I give everyday is: "This is what we do. Is what you are doing consistent with that, and does it change the world?" - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

Search companies, which I won't mention by name, tried to do so many things at the same time, they forgot all about search. They either missed the next revolution of search or they created an opening for a Google to enter. - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

Technology is always evolving, and companies.. not just search companies.. can't be afraid to take advantage of change. - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

The thing that people seem to miss about not just Google, but also our competitors, Yahoo, eBay and so forth, is that there's an awful lot of communities that have never been served by traditional media. - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

We weren't here to hope and hang on. We wanted to win. - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

When the Internet publicity began, I remember being struck by how much the world was not the way we thought it was, that there was infinite variation in how people viewed the world. - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

Anytime you're in a pressure situation you find out who's going to step up and do it and who's going to fade into the background - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

The competitive threat has been a big overhang on the stock and I would say about half that has been lifted. - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc

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