Billionaire co-founder and Google CEO Larry Page had Wall Street worried about his health on Friday when he skipped a few meetings and cancelled a few upcoming ones. Panic was high enough that Page had to send out an e-mail, reassuring his employees that he was fine and had merely lost his voice.
Page missed Google’s annual meeting on Thursday, and said that he would miss two more important events in the coming weeks. Google didn’t expound on the matter any more than that, causing a tremor of worry that Page suffers from a serious medical condition. However, Page wrote in an e-mail that “there is nothing seriously wrong with me” and that he would “continue to run the company,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Giving a bit more detail, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that Page had “lost his voice” and “can’t do any public speaking engagements for the time being,” including the upcoming Google annual conference for software developers and the second-quarter earnings conference call in July. He said that “Larry will continue to run the company, he’s running all the strategic business decisions and all that.”
Henry Blodget of the Business Insider commented that, “three absences in a row like this, combined with the cessation of posting on Google+, does raise a question about what is going on,” continuing that “This unfortunately also does recall sad memories of the vague announcements Apple once made about the health of Steve Jobs—announcements that absurdly underplayed the severity of his condition. (At one point, if we recall correctly, Apple explained Steve’s severe weight loss by saying he had some sort of ‘bug.’),” suggesting that there might be more to Page’s condition than he is letting on.
If not, Page should take a hint from the Apple playbook and be a little more transparent, lest people worry!