The digital business week

11 Apr 2011

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

New Google CEO kick starts major reorganisation

New Google CEO Larry Page has put his firm stamp on the company by instigating a major restructure that will put a definite focus on social media. Bonuses will rise or fall 25pc in the next year, depending on how successful Google is at social media.

Page returned to the role of CEO last week, after a 10-year absence. Previous CEO Eric Schmidt becomes chairman.

In a move calculated to create clear lines of accountability and responsibility, Page has made a number of promotions: Andy Rubin is now SVP in charge of mobile, Vic Gundotra is SVP in charge of social, Sundar Pichai is SVP in charge of Chrome, Salar Kamangar is SVP in charge of YouTube and video, Alan Eustac is SVP in charge of search and Susan Wojcicki is SVP in charge of advertising.

The executives will be given the autonomy to make their own decisions within their areas of responsibility.

The move is believed to be inspired by the success of Google’s Android and YouTube divisions, which effectively function as autonomous units within the company and don’t have to run up against complex operations committees to do their jobs.

Dell Limerick operation gains from global US$1bn investment

Dell’s Irish operations have gained a Global Solutions Centre as part of a global US$1bn investment Dell is making in data centres and virtualisation.

It is understood the new Global Solutions Centre in Limerick is already operational at the site that once held a major manufacturing presence. No job numbers have yet been confirmed.

Dell is building new data centres and will be developing sets of products in areas such as virtualisation and cloud computing.

The company aims to expand its business outside of its traditional computer hardware base and into more disruptive technologies.

Visa Europe to invest €100m in mobile and e-commerce

Visa Europe is planning to invest €100m each year to generate growth through the union of card payments with mobile and e-commerce, the company has announced.

Peter Ayliffe, Visa Europe CEO, said the company is witnessing strong double-digit growth in the usage of Visa cards throughout Europe, particularly with debit. 

The popularity of Visa cards’ growth will continue to rise over the next few years as electronic payments displaces cash. During this time, the company expects to see the emergence of contactless and mobile payments, and even further growth in e-commerce.

“To realise this opportunity, Visa Europe will invest €100m annually. The first results of this will be commercial launches of mobile payments before the end of 2011, closely followed by a major launch in e-commerce payments that will be the most convenient and secure way to pay,” Ayliffe said.

European blogging empire scores €58m in annual revenues

A scientific approach to media production has resulted in Populis – Europe’s answer to AOL and Demand Media – achieving revenues of €58m for the past year after producing 35,000 articles and attracting more than 26m unique monthly visitors.

Populis has a major international operation in Dublin, where it has 58 staff and has space to grow this to 80 people.

More than tripling multilingual content production in the last two years across its high-profile media brands, which include Excite Europe, Better Deals, Nanopublishing, Blogosfere and Blogo, the company today produces more than 35,000 articles and videos each month across 550 fully owned and operated websites in eight languages.

Formerly known as GoAdv, Populis has now produced 1m articles and videos, and every month tracks on average more than 16m keywords with its scientific approach to media production.

Investments in social integration are contributing to the growing audience and an innovative social media strategy is greatly increasing natural content distribution with a high level of user engagement on platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

Microsoft appoints new chief marketing officer

Microsoft has appointed Chris Capossela as its chief marketing officer and to head up a new unit that brings together the company’s retail, mobile operator and distribution teams.

The company said that as senior vice-president of the consumer channels and central marketing group, Capossela will report to chief operating officer Kevin Turner and work closely with Microsoft’s OEM, retail, mobile operator and distribution partners to create new business opportunities through Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox and Office.

He will also be responsible for Microsoft’s marketing, advertising and corporate communications.

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