Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Watch And Learn From New Google CEO

If you work for a CEO or President or chief administrator that is uncomfortable dealing with the media and/or the public, OR if you are the CEO, President or chief administrator that avoids the media and dealing with your key publics, then pay attention to what happens next at Google.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, was elevated to the CEO’s job this week.

He took over at a time when the search engine giant is trying to cope with a series of anti-trust investigations, some privacy issues and regulatory challenges. Now he must lead the company through increasingly negative public perceptions and growing media attention.

People who know him say he is a genuine brainiac and the father of many of Google’s most important technical innovations.

They also describe him as “awkward, aloof and dismissive” of people who don’t think the way he does, which apparently includes most of us.

It is also widely accepted that Page does not like to deal with the media.

Rob Frankel, author of “The Revenge of Brand X,” cites Google’s slipping image and says when you link that “with a guy like Larry Page, who may not be the most skilled or motivated person to deal with it, there could be trouble.”

At ICM we consistently preach against the CEO being the on-going spokesperson in a crisis, but Google is not in a crisis. Not yet, anyway. However, it is facing significant challenges, and an enthusiastic and committed CEO needs to be out there talking up the “positives” about his organization.

Robert Enderle of the Enderle Group was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle saying Page needs to be the public face of Google, “and he doesn’t seem to want that.” Enderle added, “…he has to do that job. Right now, Google has a horrible public image, and he’s got to fix that.”

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