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Monday, June 25, 2012

Nothing Seriously Wrong with Google CEO

Story first appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek.

The Google Inc. Chief Executive Officer, who is avoiding speaking in public, told employees that there is nothing seriously wrong with him in an e-mail, according to a person familiar with the matter.

He made the comment to employees June 21, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

The Executive Chairman said the same day at a meeting with shareholders that the CEO had lost his voice and wouldn’t speak at the gathering or two more public events, including the call with analysts next month to review second- quarter results.

The CEO can’t do any public speaking for the time being, but will continue to run the company.

The announcement may raise some questions among investors, given the time that he won’t be speaking. While Google hasn’t announced the day for the next call with analysts, the company held the conference call last year on July 14 for its second-quarter results.

There is no specific reason to think there is anything more to his condition, but investors find it odd that the company would already rule him out of the 2Q call which is likely still a few weeks away.

Shares Rise
The Mountain View, California-based company’s shares rose 1.1 percent yesterday to close at $571.48. The stock is down 12 percent for the year.

In addition to the shareholders’ meeting and the call with analysts, the CEO won’t be able to speak at next week’s annual developers conference in San Francisco.

Health issues for the CEO are always a delicate balance between privacy issues for Page versus providing information to shareholders. At some point, the shareholders need to be satisfied that the board of directors has a good grasp on this issue and are taking the necessary steps to make sure Google is being adequately managed.

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