The health of Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page has been called into question following the CEO’s absence from Google’s shareholders’ meeting on Thursday. Chairman Eric Schmidt stated that Page skipped the meeting due to a voice condition, but Google also said Page would not be present at the Google I/O developer conference next week, or at the company’s second-quarter earnings call in July while his voice recovers. JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth on Friday pondered to clients whether or not the CEO’s health problem is being downplayed by Google.
“Co-founder and CEO Larry Page was not present at the shareholder meeting,” Anmuth wrote in a note to investors on Friday. “Google indicated that he had lost his voice and was unable to speak at the meeting, and also that he would not be speaking at next week’s Google I/O developer conference or the company’s 2Q earnings call.”
The analyst continued, “We have no specific reason to think there is anything more to Larry’s condition, but we find it odd that the company would already rule him out of the 2Q call which is likely still a few weeks away. We think this could raise some questions among investors. We note that Larry does not appear to have posted on Google+ since May 25.”
The situation is a bit reminiscent of Apple’s handling of co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs’s health when he first fell ill again, however as Anmuth noted, there is no specific reason to question Google’s explanation of Page’s condition.
Google is expected to unveil its first own-brand Nexus tablet next week during the annual Google I/O developer conference, as well as a new version of its mobile operating system dubbed Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.