On Google’s Q4 earnings conference call, on YouTube, of course, the company explains its surprising shift at the top. Co-founder Larry Page will become CEO, and current chief exec Eric Scmidt will become Executive Chairman. Eric Schmidt also talks about the change at the top in a blog post.

As for its earnings report, the company “easily beat the street” according to CNBC.

The WSJ is live-blogging the call.

Details from AP below:

Google co-founder Larry Page is taking over as CEO in an unexpected shake-up that upstaged the Internet search leader’s fourth-quarter earnings.

Page, 37, is reclaiming the top job from Eric Schmidt, who had been brought in as CEO a decade ago because Google Inc.’s investors believed the company needed a more mature leader.

Schmidt, 55, will remain an adviser to Page and Google’s other co-founder, Sergey Brin, as Google’s executive chairman.

The changes will be effective April 4.

The change in command overshadowed Google’s fourth-quarter earnings, which soared past analysts’ estimates as the company cranked up its Internet marketing machine during the holiday shopping season..

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