Google CEO Larry Page might have started his rulership of the outfit by miffing Wall Street.
There is a dark muttering amongst the cocaine nose-jobs that Page snubbed them when he came to announce Google’s results this month.
Wall Street had hoped to hear Page sketch out his vision during a post-earnings conference call last week. However Page appeared on the blower for a few minutes, said he was jolly optimistic and then buggered off.
Wall Street is used to feeling important. Its analysts are used to be being wined and dined and getting pampered so that they will write nice things about a company. Page’s handling of them was the equivalent of passing the bottle around the wrong way during an officer’s mess under the old Empire. It was the sort of snub, while accidental, could only be dealt with by a revolver in the library.
Wall Street dealt with the snub by flogging the stock down more than eight percent and wiped out $US 15 billion in value. It was the biggest single-day decline since December 2008.
Steve Jobs is famous for telling Wall Street to go forth and multiply, but he does make an effort to deal with shareholders. He also markets his company a bit more and explains why his products are superior. It might be bullshit, but investors like that sort of thing.
Page, however, does not seem to want to talk about his outfit’s plans and unfortunately is going to see his share prices fall like a ton of bricks until he gives people something to like.
Part of the problem is that Page does not like appearing before the media.
That is ok if you are an enigmatic founder, but it is not so good if you are a CEO. Jobs and Ballmer have both twigged that the roll of a modern CEO is to be a media whore, Page has got to work that out.
Fortunately snubbing Wall Street will not damage Page much. He has piles of cash and he does not need to raise any more dosh from Wall Street.
In the long term though, there might be further problems. Investors have always moaned about the way the outfit treats them. It does not tell them its plans and does not even show results for of its various business units.
Recently Google even stopped briefing analysts at its Mountain View, California, headquarters, which means that some of the more significant analysts have been forced to buy their own drinks in seedy bars.