Larry Page reorgs Google, ties bonuses to social success

New Google CEO Larry Page, who took up the position on Monday, isn’t wasting any time. He completed a major management reorganization yesterday that put select executives in charge of their business divisions, reports the LA Times. He has also tied 25 percent of employee bonuses to the success of Google’s new social strategy, according to Business Insider.

Both moves have similar goals: Page wants Google to be innovative and hungry again. The management changes will allow individual Google business divisions to be more autonomous and nimble. And by tying bonuses to the company’s social efforts, employees have an added incentive to help Google finally succeed at social networking after a string of failures.

According to the LA Times, the management changes include: “Andy Rubin who is now senior vice president of mobile; Vic Gundotra who is now senior vice president of social; Sundar Pichai who is now senior vice president of Chrome; Salar Kamangar who is now senior vice president of YouTube and video; Alan Eustace, who is now senior vice president of search; and Susan Wojcicki, who is now senior vice president of ads.”

Page is likely trying to repeat the success of Android and YouTube, two Google divisions that have remained largely autonomous and found success as a result. “The idea is to empower people, let them take risks and give them more authority over decisions,” one Google worker told the LA Times.

As for the bonuses, Page apparently sent out an email last Friday with the subject line “2011 Bonus Multiplier.” In it, he explains that all employees will need to get behind Google’s new social strategy, which at the moment is pretty much just its +1 product. Even employees not directly involved in building its social products are expected to contribute by testing and reporting feedback.

If Google’s social strategy fails this year, employee bonuses would shrink by 25 percent. If it succeeds, they’ll be 25 percent larger. That’s a big change from last year, when Google employees were surprised by a $1,000 bonus and 10 percent raise across the board.

The management changes will likely work out well for Google — avoiding bureaucracy is definitely one effective way to inspire innovation. It remains to be seen how well Page’s new bonus strategy works out, but at least it answers our previous question, “Does Larry Page care about social?” Answer: Yes.


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