Chapter 2. Adult Supervision

Eric Schmidt is sometimes called "the third leg of Google." Like the third leg on a stool, he helps keep balance. And even though his background is in technology, he also moves the Google business model forward in a decisive, purposeful way.

Although they had promised their venture capitalists that they would hire a seasoned CEO for Google, Larry and Sergey were at first slow to do so. The two couldn't find anyone who suited their style. Venture capitalists John Doerr and Michael Mortiz were pushing them to get on with it. They finally sent the Google guys someone they had seen in action before: Dr. Eric Schmidt. All of this happened three years before Google became a public company.

Schmidt now shares responsibility for Google's daily operations with Larry and Sergey, and as CEO he has legal responsibility for the company's vice presidents and the sales organization.

Schmidt has been described as more of a pragmatist than a visionary, a low-keyed leader and a skilled collaborator.

After Schmidt had been at Google for a while, he and Brin and Page made an informal pact to stay together in the Google venture for at least 20 years.

"We agreed the month before we went public that we should work together for twenty years," said Schmidt. By the time the agreement is fulfilled, Schmidt will be 69 years old; Page will be 51, and Brin 50.[]

Known for his slogan, "Don't fight the Internet,"[] Schmidt is credited with positioning Google smack in the middle of ...

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