Monthly Archives: April 2011

A confession: if a bribe is something offered to influence judgment or conduct, then I have given and taken bribes.

I have enjoyed sporting, musical and theatrical events at companies’ expense. I have literally rubbed shoulders with Silvio Berlusconi in the tribuna d’onore at Milan’s San Siro stadium (at someone else’s invitation). I have flown in Robert Maxwell’s jet to Robert Maxwell’s yacht, to hear the corrupt media magnate extol his latest acquisition on the deck off which he later tumbled. I have, in my turn, wined and dined diplomats, civil servants, bankers and chief executives. And I will again because it helps me fulfill my half of journalists’ odd business bargain, in which human contact yields news and improves insight.

John Gapper

Larry Page returns to work at Google today as its chief executive, although he never went away in the first place, having spent a decade as “president of products” and part of the triumvirate that ran the company.

Still, with Eric Schmidt moving up to becoming “executive chairman” – usually an ambiguous term that means “the old chief executive who is not yet willing to relinquish the reins fully” – Mr Page appears to be back in charge of the company he co-founded with Sergey Brin.

The question is whether his return will reinvigorate Google to prevent it being knocked off its perch as the leading internet company by Facebook or others. Its search engine is still leader but search itself is increasingly under pressure. Read more