Google CEO Larry Page has promoted at least seven executives to head key parts of the company in one of his first big moves since he took over the Internet search company on Monday. The management reshuffle is an attempt at streamlining a bureaucracy that's sometimes bogged down Google even as it became the world's most valuable Internet company.
Page, Google's 38-year-old co-founder, took over from Eric Schmidt, who is staying on as executive chairman. Page has made it a top priority to cut out the bureaucracy and speed up innovation at Google, which is facing threats from new startups, such as Facebook, Twitter and the online deals company Groupon.
These companies have built their success on "social," the buzzword that defines the latest generation of Internet icons. Google, whose bread and butter is online search, hasn't been all that successful in building up the social side of its products.
The seven executives, all holding the title of senior vice president, are:
_ Andy Rubin, its top mobile executive;
_ Salar Kamangar, the head of video site YouTube;
_ Sundar Pichai, who's in charge of the Chrome browser and operating system effort;
_ Alan Eustace, senior vice president for engineering and research;
_ Jeff Huber, senior vice president of commerce and local;
_ Vic Gundotra, who leads social ventures; and
_ Susan Wojcicki, who heads ads.
Some already had the senior vice president title before the latest change.
Ben Schachter, an analyst with Macquarie Capital, said the management changes are not surprising overall. But he said Page's decision to elevate "social" to make it a separate group on par with ads or search shows a clear concern over the threat from Facebook and others.
Google reports its first-quarter earnings Thursday.
Shares of Google, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., slid $1.84 to close Friday at $578.16.