Featured Business Leader – Larry Page
It’s not often that one of our featured business leaders is responsible for not only creating an amazing, enduring and well-recognised business, but also expanding the vocabulary of internet users around the world – but this week’s featured leader has done exactly that. As the co-founder and current CEO of one of the most recognised websites in the world, Google, Larry Page has quite literally changed the way people access and utilise information.
Born in Michigan in 1973 to parents Carl and Gloria, Larry was likely destined for a role in computer science and engineering – both his mother and father were heavily involved with technology. His father was a pioneer of computer science when the field of study was first being established, and his mother taught computer programming locally.
Larry Page graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in engineering, before he moved to Stanford University to complete a masters qualification in computer engineering. It was at Stanford where Larry met his Google co-founder, Sergey Brin.
The concept of Google, as with many leading businesses, began as a project at university. They decided to create a search engine which catalogued results based on the popularity of the page, deducing that the most popular result would likely also be the most useful. They named it Google, in reference to the mathematical term, a ‘googol’ – the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.
After the success of their project, the partners set about raising the funds to create Google to a larger scale, and with the help of family, friends and a few key investors, Google was launched in 1998.
Since its launch, Google has grown from strength to strength. From small beginnings in a friend’s garage, Google has grown to be a multi-national, multi-lingual world leading organisation. From its humble beginnings as a standard search engine, it has slowly become an all-encompassing essential internet tool. From Google Images, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Scholar and Google News, internet users can find all the information they need in one website.
In addition to the search functions they’ve created, Google has expanded into a variety of other technologies and software types – creating or acquiring several social media networks, creating web browsing software, and creating one of the world’s most popular e-mail services. Google is also responsible for creating the Android software for mobile phones and tablets.
It’s easy to see that the project created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin around 20 years ago has truly changed the face of internet, and the way we use the internet. But it’s not many companies who can genuinely alter the English language, also. The verb “to google”, is actually found in new editions of the Oxford Dictionary (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/google). It is defined as “to search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google, i.e. on Sunday she googled an ex-boyfriend”.
Larry Page remains as Google’s CEO, a role to which he was re-instated in 2011 after Eric Schmidt stepped down from the role. Prior to 2011, Larry Page was the President of Products, while his counterpart Sergey Brin was the President of Technology. Sergey also remains involved at Google, where he is currently a Director of Special Projects.
It’s likely that as Larry Page’s tenure as Google’s CEO continues, so too will their incredible developments – both as an employer and a creative brand. Google is well-known around the world as an employer of choice due to the fantastic perks it offers to its hardworking employees. The company has worked hard to encourage graduates to seek roles within their organisation, offering a wide variety of exciting products for new hires to encourage passion and creativity.
The company also offers a variety of perks at each of their offices – gyms, access to cafeterias, recreational activities including bowling alleys and tennis courts, childcare services, and a variety of other services – all of which are provided free of charge to employees. Of the scheme, Larry Page said “it’s important that the company be a family, that people feel that they’re part of the company, and that the company is like a family to them. When you treat people that way, you get better productivity.”
For this reason, the company is regularly named as an Employer of Choice and is often considered one of the best companies in the world to work for.
In my opinion, the Google brand is one of the most revolutionary and exciting brands found in today’s market. I think Larry Page is a great leader, and I’m interested to see what it is that Google and Larry manage to do next!
I’d love to hear what you think about Larry Page and the rise of Google – are you one of the billions of Google users around the world? Would you like to be involved with the future of Google? Tell us your thoughts below.
This article was written by Simone Ball on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Biography, Google History, Google Management and Wikipedia