Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Chief Executive Officer Larry Page has lost his voice and won’t be speaking at three company events, which included the shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.
Because of his voice condition, Page, 39, won’t speak at the company’s annual developers conference next week, Schmidt said at the meeting in Mountain View, California.
Page also won’t be able to talk on the call with analysts when Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), owner of the most popular Internet search engine, makes its second-quarter earnings announcement.
At the meeting, shareholders approved a proposal, announced in April, that lets the company issue new shares without diluting the voting power of Schmidt, Page and his fellow co- founder Sergey Brin.
The stock change would create a new class of nonvoting shares that will be distributed to existing shareholders in what is effectively a 2-for-1 stock split.
“It’s important to bear in mind that this proposal will only have an effect on governance over the very long term,” Page and Brin wrote in an April letter to investors. “It’s just that since we know what we want to do, there’s no reason to delay the decision.”
Letter to Shareholders
Here’s an excerpt of the letter:
“In our experience, success is more likely if you concentrate on the long term. Technology products often require significant investment over many years to fulfill their potential. For example, it took over three years just to ship our first Android handset, and then another three years on top of that before the operating system truly reached critical mass. These kinds of investments are not for the faint-hearted.
“We have protected Google from outside pressures and the temptation to sacrifice future opportunities to meet short-term demands. Long-term product investments, like Chrome and YouTube, which now enjoy phenomenal usage, were made with a significant degree of independence.
“We have a structure that prevents outside parties from taking over or unduly influencing our management decisions. However, day-to-day dilution from routine equity-based employee compensation and other possible dilution, such as stock-based acquisitions, will likely undermine this dual-class structure and our aspirations for Google over the very long term. We have put our hearts into Google and hope to do so for many more years to come. So we want to ensure that our corporate structure can sustain these efforts and our desire to improve the world.”
While the proposal was subject to a vote, it had been expected to pass because Page, Brin and Schmidt control the majority of voting power, David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, said in an April statement.
Still, pending litigation against the new structure is likely to hold up the proposal’s implementation, and probably won’t be resolved before the fourth quarter, Don Harrison, vice president and deputy general counsel, said at the meeting.
(The AP and Bloomberg contributed to this report.)