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Google CEO Larry Page back in office, recovering from mystery ailment

Google CEO Larry Page is back at the office after a mystery ailment causing the loss of his speaking voice forced him to miss last month's Google I/O developer conference, according to the company's chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt updated reporters with the news about Page's condition at a fireside chat with media in Sun Valley, Idaho last Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It's not clear whether Page has completely regained his voice, but Schmidt said, ""Larry is doing much better ... he seems fine," according to the Journal. The specific nature of Page's ailment has not been revealed.

Schmidt told shareholders in June that Page would be missing upcoming Google events, including Google I/O and the company's upcoming second-quarter earnings call on 19 July. Schmidt didn't say whether Page's plans regarding the upcoming conference call with investors and analysts had changed given his apparent return to health.

Page continued to run Google the past few weeks despite his illness, Schmidt said. The 39-year-old CEO has been communicated via email and other forms of written messaging during his recovery.

Meanwhile, at the same fireside chat in Sun Valley, Schmidt talked up Google's self-driving car initiative, positing that "self-driving cars should become the predominant mode of transportation in our lifetime," according to TechCrunch.