Google this afternoon announced its fourth-quarter earnings for 2010. At the same time, it announced a restructuring of the major leadership positions. They are as follows:

  • Starting from April 4, Larry Page, Google Co-Founder, will take charge of Google's day-to-day operations as Chief Executive Officer.
  • Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder, will devote his energy to strategic projects, in particular working on new products.
  • Eric Schmidt will assume the role of Executive Chairman, focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership--all of which are increasingly important given Google's global reach. Internally, he will continue to act as an advisor to Larry and Sergey.

Schmidt's move from CEO, while a bit surprising, isn't completely out of left field -- he'd been backing off the earnings calls (but did make one surprise visit) in 2010. In the earnings statement, Schmidt said:

"We've been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making for a long time. By clarifying our individual roles we'll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I'm excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come."

As for the money side of things, Google had $8.44 billion in revenue for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010, up 26 percent from Q4 2009. Net income was $2.54 billion, up from $1.97 billion in Q4 2009.

Google's conference call starts soon. We'll be listening in. [Google]

Update: Schmidt's issued a statement on the Google Blog.