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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
Google profitable, new chief says
Google website
Internet search giant Google has joined the elite number of firms to be running at a profit, the company's new boss says.

Eric Schmidt, who while at Sun Microsystems "led the development of Java", said the company had operated at a profit for the last two financial quarters.

"We are quite profitable," Mr Schmidt said. "We are not talking about 1%."

The statement, the first time Google has revealed it is running in the black, will come as boost to a beleaguered global sector, which last week heard search engine firm Ask Jeeves warn that it may miss its breakeven deadline.

But, with Google still in private hands, Mr Schmidt's comments had little impact on US stock markets, where sentiment was clouded on Tuesday by downgrades to Intel, Marconi and Alcatel.

And a spokeswoman declined to comment further to BBC News Online on the financial situation at Google which, free of the need to meet stock exchange information codes, has revealed little data.

Wall Street estimates the company will achieve sales of about $50m next year.

Boardroom shake-up

Mr Schmidt, a former chief executive at Novell, and still chairman at the software firm, replaces Larry Page, who co-founded Google with Russian-born Sergey Brin in 1998.

"The feeling was that, with the opportunities Google has after the growth of the last three years, it would be beneficial to bring in someone with greater business experience, as well as being strong in technology," the Google spokeswoman told BBC News Online.

"Mr Schmidt, Mr Page and Mr Brin will now operate the company together," she added.

Mr Page, 28, has been named president, products and Mr Brin, 27, president, technology.

Java heritage

Mr Page said. "Eric is exactly the right leader for Google.

"His extensive technology background and vision for the potential of the Internet complement the efforts that Google is making in defining a leadership position."

Mr Schmidt, who was at Sun from 1983-97, joins Google as it beginning to add usage from new generation telephone users to the 100 million search queries it already receives per day.

The California-based company two months ago revealed flotation plans, with Wall Street analysts valuing the firm at an estimated $250m.

"We do not have any plans to [float] at this time," the Google spokeswoman said.

See also:

02 Aug 01 | Business
Ask Jeeves delays breakeven date
16 Jul 01 | Business
Lastminute snaps up takeaway site
24 Jun 01 | Business
Google mulls float plans
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