Eric Schmidt Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Eric Emerson Schmidt (born April 27, 1955) is an American businessman and software engineer. He is currently chair of the US Department of Defense's Defense Innovation Advisory Board. He is known for being the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, executive chairman of Google from 2011 to 2015[4], executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. from 2015 to 2017, and Technical Advisor at Alphabet from 2017 to 2020. In 2017, Forbes ranked Schmidt as the 119th-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of US$11.1 billion.

As an intern at Bell Labs, Schmidt did a complete re-write of Lex, a software program to generate lexical analysers for the Unix computer operating system. From 1997 to 2001, he was chief executive officer (CEO) of Novell. From 2001 to 2011, Schmidt served as the CEO of Google. He has served on various other boards in academia and industry, including the Boards of Trustees for Carnegie Mellon University, Apple, Princeton University, and Mayo Clinic.

Eric Schmidt stepped down from his role as Google CEO on a high note. He is loved by employees, the stock has performed spectacularly under his watch (except for the last year or so), and he managed to keep a lot of Google's unique culture while growing from several hundred to more than 20,000 employees.

But even the best leaders make mistakes, and Schmidt is no exception.

Here are 10 things that he could have done better.


Appearing unconcerned about privacy Schmidt often stumbled when talking about privacy, with statements like "If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place" (on CNBC) and "We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about" (in an interview with The Atlantic). He also said on CNN that people who didn't like their homes photographed by Google's Street View cameras could "just move."

Letting the founders bypass him -- and talking about it, Schmidt sometimes gave the impression he wasn't really in charge, like when he told an audience last December that he didn't want Google to do a browser or an operating system, but Larry Page and Sergey Brin went around him and started the Chrome project anyway.

Not anticipating that Steve Jobs would be furious about Android, In 2007, Schmidt reportedly got chewed out by Steve Jobs when word leaked that Google was working with HTC on an Android phone. The surprising part: apparently Schmidt didn't expect Jobs to be angry. Eventually, the companies' increasing competition in mobile got Schmidt kicked off Apple's board.

Asking Google's search team to bury info about a political donation. Early during his tenure at Google, Schmidt asked the search team to bury a search result about a political donation, according to Steven Levy's upcoming book, "In The Plex." He was told "no way." (Schmidt has since denied the incident happened.)

Failing to close the Groupon buy. Some small businesses are taking part of their search advertising budget and moving it into daily deals sites like Groupon instead. Google saw the trend and wanted into the daily deals business so badly that it bid $6 billion for Groupon, but Groupon refused and the deal broke down last December.

Not buying Twitter when it was still cheap. Another deal that got away: Google tried to buy Twitter several times last year, offering prices between $2.5 and $10 billion, but could not close the deal. The purchase could have kick-started Google's social efforts, but instead Google is starting from scratch with +1.

Underestimating Facebook. This has been a problem for years. In 2006, Google paid $900 million for the right to power search on MySpace -- just as it was about to be eclipsed by Facebook.

In 2007, Google let Microsoft outbid it to take a small stake in Facebook at a $15 billion valuation, which seemed crazy at the time but now looks cheap. Now Bing is using Facebook's social information to improve its search results, while Google is having to build its own social search features.

More recently, Schmidt has downplayed Facebook as a competitor, saying that Microsoft is still the company Google watches most. New CEO Larry Page apparently disagrees, and has made winning in social a top Google priority for 2011.

Striking out in social. Google may have underestimated Facebook, but it has been trying to add social components to its services for years -- and for the most part has failed miserably. Orkut, Buzz, Wave, Dodgeball ... the list goes on and on. It's not entirely Schmidt's fault, but as leader he has to take some responsibility for these misses.

Not earning the trust of content owners. Under Schmidt, Google had a troubled relationship with content owners and media companies. Buying YouTube while it still had lots of pirated content -- and being slow to create a system to enforce takedown orders -- didn't help Google's relationship with Hollywood either. Distrust from content owners is one reason why Google still doesn't have an iTunes equivalent.

Investing in AOL In 2005, Google paid $1 billion for a 5% stake in AOL. Four years later, the company sold its stake for $283 million. At the time, Google may have thought it needed AOL to keep its search share strong, but AOL's audience declined and Google's organic search share skyrocketed over the same period.


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Eloisa Rangel says

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