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In a move reminiscent of Steve Jobs’ return to Apple, Larry Page is about regain control of Google. Page was the founding CEO, but handed over control to Eric Schmidt in 2001. Now Schmidt is retiring and Page is about step back into the former role. He is wasting no time implementing changes he believes are necessary to make Google more “lean and mean.” One noticeable change is making top executives more accessible to all employees. Page is looking to streamline projects and push decision making down the organization.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What type of divisional structure does Google utilize? Upon what do you base your answer? Comment on the effectiveness of this design arrangement.
  2. The opening paragraphs of the article describe Google as a bureaucracy. Just what does this mean? How does a company like Google become a bureaucracy? What are the advantages of such an arrangement? Why, in this case, may it have become a problem?
  3. When incoming CEO Larry Page says he wants the company to “act more like a start-up than an incumbent,” what type of design is he advocating? What changes need to be made?
  4. In what ways does Page appear to be implementing decentralization with centralization?

SOURCE: A. Efrati, “At Google, Page Aims to Clear Red Tape,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703784004576220902706041400.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection)

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