Larry’s back: Google CEO returns to work, getting better

Whatever throat-based ailment has been affecting Google CEO Larry Page in recent weeks, it appears to have almost cleared up.

The sickness, the details of which were never specified by the company, apparently caused Page, 39, to lose his voice. As a result, he missed a number of important work-related gatherings, including the Google I/O developers conference a couple of weeks back.

Speaking at the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley on Thursday, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters, “He’s still recovering. Larry is doing much better. He was in the office on Monday,” adding, “Larry ran the meeting. He is talking, but talking softly.”

Reuters reported that Schmidt offered no further information on the exact nature of Page’s illness.

The story first hit the headlines in the middle of last month when Page failed to show up for the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Little information was forthcoming from Google, with Schmidt’s sole comment on the matter – that Page had “lost his voice” – serving only to fuel speculation about the CEO’s precise condition.

Page disappeared from the office and, with all the rumors flying about, felt compelled to email Google employees to reassure them that there was “nothing seriously wrong” with him and that he would continue to run the company. For weeks he didn’t update his Google+ page (he has now), which had even more tongues wagging.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at Yale School of Management, said at the time that as the CEO of a public company, it was vital for Page to be more open about the issue, going so far as to say that the Google boss is “not entitled to his privacy.”

Whatever’s up with Larry’s larynx, let’s hope he’s on the road to (a full) recovery. These are, after all, extremely busy times for Google.

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