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Eric Schmidt of Google Speaks at SES

I ran into Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc. (GOOG), in the restroom yesterday.  He had just given the keynote address at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. Seeing him in this context was a reminder that he is human like the rest of us.

It was a nice reminder, because as CEO of Google, Schmidt is clearly the most powerful person on the Internet and may be one of the most powerful and influential business leaders in the world.

Think about it. In addition to running aSchmidt.jpg company that has a market capitalization of $113 billion, Google has changed the way we use the Internet. It handles nearly half of the world's Web searches and has single-handedly resurrected web advertising. That is a huge responsibility as a leader.

Google is in a battle to replace Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) as the most important tech company. "Google is setting itself up to be an application delivery system for any type of device," according to author Stephen Arnold. In Schmidt’s address he noted that Google’s mission was to “organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible.” This vision includes moving the information age off the desktop and onto the Internet where its massive network computer platform can deliver "virtual" applications, or software that allows a user to perform a task on any device with an Internet connection. The Microsoft and Google race to dominate added 1.4 million blogs in July, most hosted by the two companies.

According to Schmidt, personal data entered into Google applications, such as GMail and Google Spreadsheets, is part of the world’s information to be organized.Schmidt spoke of the challenges faced and responsibility faced by companies like Google that serve some many consumers and have the ability to track data about these consumers and assured the audience that Google had all necessary safeguards in place to protect its users' personal data from theft or accidental release. These remarks were in direct response to last weekend's discovery by online privacy sleuths that AOL, a key Google search customer, had mistakenly released personally identifiable data on 20 million keyword searches by its users. AOL, the online unit of media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. (TWX), apologized on Monday and said it had launched an internal probe into how a research division of the company mistakenly released the data on its Web site two weeks ago.

Read more about the privacy of data and Google at the Washington Post and Schmidt’s remarks at ZDNet.

3 Comments/Trackbacks

Hal, how cool is that! Made me wish I'd heard the talk. It also left me wondering... "If you could ask Dr. Eric Schmidt any question you wanted answered most in a public forum such as CNN, what would you ask him?"

Very interesting post,Hal. Finding out news about Dr. Eric Schmidt is always a pleasure, a moment to find out strategies about a well-lead management, a key for success in our business!.

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