Here's what amounted to Schmidt gushing about the financial situation he was inheriting: "People say, 'Google, interesting technology, wonderful brand, but how do you make money?' The founders, in their inimitable way, have managed to build a company that was profitable in the March quarter in a cash flow basis, and in June, we were profitable on a (generally accepted accounting principles) basis. It's amazing, but even in the summer, which is traditionally slow from an advertising perspective, it looks like we will continue this fine performance."
Think they worry about summer doldrums now?
Keep in mind that this was 18 months after the pop of the dot-com bubble and there were those who viewed Google as just another eyeball-aggregating, revenue-light suspect.
When it was suggested to a Forbes writer that "Search is the second most popular activity on the Web -- it would be absurd to think businesses can't make a profit off it," the writer replied: "We'll believe it when we see it."
Bet he believes it now. Bet Schmidt believed it as he cleaned out his desk at Novell.
But I'll also bet he didn't see himself being worth $5 billion.
And I'll guarantee he never thought he'd just made the single greatest career decision in the history of gainful employment.
Have another candidate? The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.