2011/04/05

Google product chief leaves as Page takes helm

SAN FRANCISCO, April  4, 2011 (AFP) - Larry Page's first day as Google chief executive on Monday was marked with the resignation of the executive in charge of search, Android and other major products at the Internet powerhouse.

Google confirmed that Jonathan Rosenberg, the company's chief of product development, announced his resignation internally after being unable to assure Page that he was committed to his role for the long haul.

"We tried to hire Jonathan multiple times because he was the only person we could imagine doing the job," Page said in a statement released by Google.

"It's lucky we were so persistent because he's built an amazing team -- hiring great people, who've created amazing products that have benefited over a billion users around the world."

Rosenberg, 49, has been open about his plan to remain at Google only until his daughter is ready to attend college in about two years.

Page met with top executives on Monday, his first day on the job as chief executive at the Mountain View, California-based company he launched in 1998 with then Stanford University classmate Sergey Brin.

Page wanted to make sure top executives planned to be at Google as he executes his plan for the firm.

Rosenberg decided to step down after being unable to make a long-term commitment, according to Google.

Rosenberg will leave his position about mid-year and return to Google as a consultant after taking off an unspecified amount of time.

Rosenberg also planned to collaborate with recently-departed chief executive Eric Schmidt on a book about Google's management culture.

"Jonathan is phenomenal -- hugely energetic, strategic, a man of real principle who always puts the user first," Schmidt said in a release.

"He's been crucial to our success over the last nine years and I cannot thank him enough for everything he's done."

Page, an engineer with a keen interest in Google products and an inclination to be hands-on, had yet to decide what will become of Rosenberg's position.