Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, announced yesterday on the Official Google Blog, that he is stepping down as CEO from April 4. Google co-founder, Larry Page, will take over as CEO of Google, when Eric Schmidt steps down. Eric Schmidt, however, will remain as Executive Chairman of Google.

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.

During a press conference yesterday, Eric Schmidt said that the reason for making this change now, is to simplify the management structure and speed up decision making.

“I believe Larry is ready. His ideas are interesting and clever. It’s time for him to have a shot at running this.” said Eric Schmidt.

Larry Page praised the leadership of Eric Schmidt over the past ten years and says his support in the role of Executive Chairman will be invaluable.

“The results speak for themselves. No one in the universe could have done what he’s done. I’ve learned so much from him. His role going forward will be invaluable.” said Larry Page.

Google’s third co-founder, Sergey Brin, will be responsible for strategic projects and new products.

“I would like to work more on my personal passions. There will be several new products I’m working on. I’ve been accused of vaporware recently, so I won’t talk about them yet. But soon.” said Sergey Brin.

The shift of leadership in Google was announced in connection with Google’s release of their quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2010. Google reported revenues of $8.44 billion for the last quarter of 2010, which is an increase of 26% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

The company’s net income in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $2.54 billion, compared to $1.97 billion during the same period in 2009.

(via IDG News)