Here’s Why Google’s Staff is Shrinking

Larry Page, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) chief executive, returned to the top job in April and has since dropped more than 25 projects, saying they were not popular enough. Striving to keep Google up to speed, he masterminded Google’s biggest deal by billions, the $12.5 billion Motorola Mobility bid, a bold move that positions the company to enter the hardware business. Founded in 1998, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not yet 15, but in tech years, it is an aging giant that moves a lot slower than it did when it was a hot start-up.

It is losing employees to the new, hotter start-ups, and is being pushed around by government regulators and competitors like Facebook, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which are all vying for people’s online time. “Ever since taking over as C.E.O., I have focused much of my energy on increasing Google’s velocity and execution, and we’re beginning to see results,” Mr. Page told analysts recently. Mr. Page, an engineer by training and personality has borrowed from the playbooks of executives like Steven P. Jobs and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, he has put his personal imprint on the corporate culture, from discouraging excessive use of e-mail to embracing quick, unilateral decision-making. The most significant change at the company is the killing of projects Mr. Page deems unworthy.

“He’s certainly been active,” said Mark Mahaney, an analyst covering Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) at Citigroup. “Whether he’ll be active and successful, we don’t know,” according to Yahoo Finance.

Here’s how Google’s stock closed the week:

  • Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): The shares recently traded at $608.35, up $13.27, or 2.23%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $642.96. Volume today was 3,977,320 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,450,950 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.74, while trailing earnings are $29.34 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

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