6 events that defined Google CEO's first year in charge

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6 events that defined Google CEO's first year in charge
  • Here are a few of the major milestones that mark Larry Page's first 12 months as CEO of Google.
Larry Page took over as CEO of Google Inc in April 2011. Since then, the computer engineer - who with Sergey Brin co-founded what became the world's largest Internet firm - has made a string of moves to try and sustain the company's pace of growth while kindling innovation.

Google will release first-quarter results on Thursday, a year after Page took up the baton from Eric Schmidt and one quarter after his company missed both revenue and earnings targets - a rare misstep for a company that could once be counted on for consistent outperformance.

The following are a few of the major milestones that mark Page's first 12 months as CEO:

April 2011 - Page takes over as CEO formally from Schmidt, who becomes executive chairman. The same month, he gets on a post-earnings announcement call with Wall Street analysts but signs off after a few minutes, triggering complaints about his seeming indifference to investors.

June 2011 - The Federal Trade Commission launches a formal investigation into whether Google - which dominates online searches - tweaks results to give its own properties preference, while pushing rivals lower down in the rankings, something the company denies.

Similar reviews occur across multiple countries and trigger several lawsuits.

June 2011 - Google takes the wraps off Google+, launching a field trial for a social network and billing its enhanced privacy features and novel "circles" method of separating close friends from distant acquaintances as a competitive edge over rivals such as Facebook.

The service has acquired more than 100 million active users. Analysts say Google wants to make social networking a top priority as it fights with Facebook and other social media companies for Internet users' time and activity.

August 2011 - Months after Page takes the helm, Google announces the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion - its biggest acquisition to date.

Google secures an extensive library of patents from one of the early pioneers of the cellphone. Wall Street is still speculating on how Google will further wield its first hardware-manufacturing asset even as its Android software continues to battle Apple Inc in the mobile market.

January 19, 2012 - Google's results fall short of Wall Street's expectations, due in part to a deeper-than-anticipated decline in advertising rates. A robust holiday shopping season failed to buoy revenue or the bottom line.

April 4, 2012 - Google attempts to generate an Apple-like buzz by showcasing prototypes of special "augmented reality" glasses that let the wearer view directions and have video chats, among other things. The company did not provide a time frame for when the high-tech glasses might be commercially available.

Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012

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