Google CEO Page recovering, was in office this week

SUN VALLEY, Idaho Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:29pm EDT

Google CEO Larry Page speaks during a press announcement at Google's headquarters in New York in this May 21, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Google CEO Larry Page speaks during a press announcement at Google's headquarters in New York in this May 21, 2012 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

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SUN VALLEY, Idaho (Reuters) - Google Inc CEO Larry Page, absent from the Internet company's biggest public events for weeks, is recovering from an unspecified ailment that caused him to lose his voice and was in the office on Monday, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said.

Page has stayed out of the public eye since last month, when he was a no-show at an annual shareholders' meeting after having "lost his voice," Schmidt explained at the time. His prolonged absence has raised questions about the health of the 39-year-old Google co-founder and the mystery condition affecting his voice.

Schmidt would not go into details of what ailed Page, but said the co-founder has been taking meetings at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Schmidt told reporters at the annual Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley on Thursday.

"He's still recovering. Larry is doing much better. He was in the office on Monday," Schmidt said. "Larry ran the meeting. He is talking, but talking softly."

Page, who apart from being CEO is also one of the company's largest shareholders, is also expected to skip the company's post-earnings conference call next week.

His unexplained absence comes at a time investors are keen to hear the company's thinking in getting into hardware with the Nexus 7 tablet and taking on the likes of Inc's Kindle Fire, and eventually Apple Inc's iPad.

The7-inch tablet, made by Taiwan's Asustek, is expected to help funnel mobile users to Google's online trove of content, including YouTube. Online pre-sales on Google Play and select retailers' websites such as Office Depot's have commenced, with the first tablets expected to arrive next week.

Demand "was immense in the first week," Schmidt said, without giving details.

The world's No. 1 search engine generated $38 billion in revenue last year. But with consumers spending more time on social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, and increasingly accessing the Web on smartphones instead of PCs, investors are trying to figure out how Google's business will be affected.

In May, Google acquired smartphone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

(Additional reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Edwin Chan in San Francisco; Editing by Gary Hill)

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Comments (1)
LynCe wrote:
There is a nasty upper respiratory bug with strep-like symptoms and laryngitis making the rounds here in Silicon Valley over the past few weeks. You just don’t expect to come down with something this nasty in July! Last fall’s flu shot proved useless for this one.

Jul 14, 2012 5:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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