Back in 2000, when Google was just getting started, its venture capital backers insisted the fledling company find an experieced CEO to provide ‘adult supervision.’
Venture capitalist John Doerr arranged for Google’s young co-founders to meet with half-a-dozen Silicon Valley CEOs in an attempt to get the process started. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met with Intel’s Andy Grove, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and several others.
At the end of the tour, they were ready to hire a CEO but there was a problem, according to Wired senior writer Steven Levy:
… they would only consider one person: Steve Jobs.
Jobs was busy running Apple, of course, which was just about to introduce the first iPod, the product that would transform the company. Doerr persuaded them to widen their net and introduced them to Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Novell. Schmidt became Google’s CEO in 2001.
The nugget about Steve Jobs is from the latest Wired magazine, in a story about Larry Page retaking the reins as Google’s CEO. It is not yet online. The story is an excerpt from Levy’s upcoming book, “In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives,” which is available for pre-order on Amazon.