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2/1/2008
01:02 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Google Execs Made 20-Year Commitment To Each Other

Ah, the heady pre-IPO heydays of summer 2004. In July of that year, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, together with CEO Eric Schmidt, must have been feeling pretty bullish on Google's long-term future. The three agreed to work together for the next 20 years, to have and to hold, in sickness and health, good times and bad, for better or worse. Will this business marriage last?

Ah, the heady pre-IPO heydays of summer 2004. In July of that year, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, together with CEO Eric Schmidt, must have been feeling pretty bullish on Google's long-term future. The three agreed to work together for the next 20 years, to have and to hold, in sickness and health, good times and bad, for better or worse. Will this business marriage last?The three men revealed the commitment in an offhand remark made during an interview. Said Schmidt, "We agreed the month before we went public that we should work together for 20 years." Schmidt will be 69 years old in July 2024, and Page will be 51 and Brin 50.

With Google's market capitalization standing at $170 billion, I'd say the partnership is working out so far. Each man is a billionaire. So what if Google's numbers for the fourth quarter were a bit off from predictions?

Google reported total 2007 profits of $4.2 billion dollars as compared with $3.08 billion in 2006, but Wall Street had expected bigger numbers. Google's stock has been on a downward slide of late, declining some $200 per share since the fall. Despite the slight let down, "We're very pleased with our performance this quarter," said Schmidt.

Since the IPO, Google has done nothing but grow. The last three months of 2007 saw the company hire approximately 1,000 new workers, bringing the total head count to nearly 17,000. It ended 2007 with $14.2 billion in its bank account. The last 12 months have seen a lot of innovation from the company, with new products and services seemingly launched daily.

So far there's no sign of any strain between the three men. Whether or not this business marriage can go the distance is something only time will tell.

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