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January 20, 2011

Eric Schmidt to Step Aside as Google CEO

Alternate headline: Creepiest Person In World Fired.

Last December, in an interview with CNBC, he addressed concerns about privacy and Google's retention of personal information by saying, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

From the Washington Post:

Google announced Thursday afternoon that chief executive Eric Schmidt will step aside and be succeeded by Larry Page, one of the search giant’s co-founders.

Schmidt, who joined Google as chief executive in 2001, said in a statement that the decision was aimed at simplifying the company’s management structure.

“As Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated,” he said. “[W]e decided now was the right moment to make some changes to the way we are structured.”


Because of his cavalier approach toward privacy issues, Schmidt needed a team of PR guys to follow him around like street sweepers at an elephant parade. More odd statements:

"We can suggest what you should do next, what you care about. Imagine: We know where you are, we know what you like."

"Not only are you never lonely, you're never bored! We'll suggest what you should be watching, because we know what you care about."

"A near-term future in which you don't forget anything, because the computer remembers. You're never lost."

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he suggested that in order to escape Google's permanent record, people could simply change their names:

Mr. Schmidt is surely right, though, that the questions go far beyond Google. "I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time," he says. He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends' social media sites.

And today, just after being plutoed by Google, he tweeted this gem: “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” No doubt his young bosses were thrilled. Presumably, this is a reference to something Sergey Brin's said when Schmidt was appointed in 2001, "[H]e’s going to be a bit of a chaperone, providing adult supervision . . . ." Regardless of whether it was a veiled insult or a statement about his own competence, it was a silly thing to say. And it is probably representative of some of the rationale behind Google's announcement today.

Someone created a vicious YouTube in response to this serial creepy behavior.

One more thing: Google's motto is "Don't Be Evil." Ha!

digg this
posted by rdbrewer at 07:58 PM

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