A former Google executive has published details about the company strategy on his personal blog. He says that the company has become obsessed with advertising and with taking over online social networking dominance from Facebook.
James Whittaker left Microsoft in 2009 to join Google as a high level software engineer. He then left Google in a seemingly unhappy manner regarding the companies goals.
He said “The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate.
The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”
He added “Technically I suppose Google has always been an advertising company, but for the better part of the last three years, it didn’t feel like one. Google was an ad company only in the sense that a good TV show is an ad company: having great content attracts advertisers.”
He says that Eric Schmidt was more focused on innovating “Under Eric Schmidt ads were always in the background. Google was run like an innovation factory, empowering employees to be entrepreneurial through founder’s awards, peer bonuses and 20% time. Our advertising revenue gave us the headroom to think, innovate and create. ”
Things quickly changed however and Whittaker added “But that was then, as the saying goes, and this is now.”
When Larry Page took over he didn’t like the changes “The days of old Google hiring smart people and empowering them to invent the future was gone. The new Google knew beyond doubt what the future should look like. Employees had gotten it wrong and corporate intervention would set it right again.”
The strategy change didn’t appeal to him “The old Google made a fortune on ads because they had good content. It was like TV used to be: make the best show and you get the most ad revenue from commercials. The new Google seems more focused on the commercials themselves.”
You can read the full blog piece over here.