Google dumps CEO Schmidt

Google has ousted CEO Eric Schmidt and replaced him with co-founder Larry Page.

Schmidt, who was both chairman and CEO, will be shifted upstairs and round the corner in April into a newly-created post of executive chairman.

The news was delivered along with Google's quarterly results last night in which the advertising company's fourth-quarter profit was reported to be up by 29 per cent to $2.54 billion, or $7.81 a share.

Google was founded in 1998 by Page and chum Sergey Brin when they were both students at Stanford University. Schmidt was drafted in as CEO in August 2001, having joined the company in March of that year as chairman of the board.

Already an experienced CEO, having risen at Sun Microsystems to become chief technology officer, Schmidt took over as CEO of Novell in 1997 before moving to Google. He was undoubtedly hired to oversee the search engine giant's massive expansion into almost every corner of the Web.

"Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" Schmidt tweeted on Twitter account as the news broke. Talking up his new role as executive chairman, he has sought to paint it as glamorous. "Stepping up as Exec Chairman. New to-do’s: London-Monday. Munich-Tues. Zurich-Wed. Davos-Thurs….", he twitted just hours ago.

In a press release, Page praised Schmidt, saying he had done "an outstanding job leading Google for the last decade."