Google’s CEO Larry Page is one of the wealthiest men in the world and sits at the head of the table for one of the worlds largest and most powerful Internet companies. That’s the public Larry Page, the private Larry Page may also be one of the most press-shy CEOs even as he runs a company that is ingrained in our everyday world. The notoriously press shy CEO went on the record with Fortune Magazine and talked Motorola, the future, Apple and more.
I don’t know if this is unique at this time in this industry, but there are companies that are clearly competing with each other [Google, Apple and Amazon], with completely different business models.
I actually view that as a shame when you think about it that way. All the big technology companies are big because they did something great. I’d like to see more cooperation on the user side. The Internet was made in universities and it was designed to interoperate. And as we’ve commercialized it, we’ve added more of an island-like approach to it, which I think is a somewhat a shame for users.
So in light of that, Apple’s still a partner. It’s a competitor. You and Steve Jobs were friendly.
So Apple obviously is a huge distribution partner for some of your services. How is the relationship?
What I was trying to say was I think it would be nice if everybody would get along better and the users didn’t suffer as a result of other people’s activities. I try to model that. We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That’s our philosophy. I think sometimes we’re allowed to do that. Sometimes we’re not.
So do you have an ongoing conversation with Apple about these kinds of issues and trying to resolve them?
I mean, obviously we talk to Apple. We have a big search relationship with Apple, and so on, and we talk to them and so on.
There are some great products out of Motorola, but none of them are your signature Nexus line. Will you partner with Motorola for these sort of signature devices? How will you decide when to partner with them? And despite all your assurances to the other [Android] partners that you’re going to be neutral, aren’t they going to freak out [when you build a Motorola Nexus]?
First of all, I don’t think there’s any physical way we could have released a Nexus Motorola device in that sense. I mean, we haven’t owned the company long enough.
How will you decide when to do a Motorola Nexus device, and what do you tell Samsung and LG?
I think there’s a lot of complexity in that question. Maybe I’ll talk more generally about that area. The right way to think about it is how do we get amazing products into users’ hands in the most cost-effective, highest quality way possible and to the most people. That’s what we do as a business, and that’s what we’ve done with Android.
Part of the reason why we’ve done Nexus devices in the past is that we want to build an amazing device that kind of showcases what’s possible on Android, gives a way for the programmers to get early builds, does a whole bunch of things that are important. Exactly what we do, which devices we do, what the timing is, how we release the software with them, all those things have been changing.
Every day we kind of evaluate how do we help our partners out the right way, how do we produce amazing innovative devices, and how do we get those out, and how do we get that innovation into the ecosystem and into the hands of as many people as possible, and how do we keep our partners happy. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that so far.
Outside of the Nexus comments and Motorola, there isn’t a whole lot of Android related material in the article, but if you want to get in the head of the media-shy Google CEO, give the full article a read at the link below.