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Larry Page: Losing My Voice Made Me a Better CEO

"I choose my words more carefully," says Google's ailing CEO and co-founder.
Larry Page Google

You'd think losing your voice would be the worst thing that could happen to a CEO, but Larry Page insists it's been just the opposite.

"Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully," the CEO revealed in a post on his Google+ page Tuesday.

Not only has he minimized harm to employees by not saying things he might later regret, he's avoided those long, rambling monologues no one wants to hear. "Giving long monologues is more tedious for me and probably the audience," he admits. 

In the candid post, Page explained how he lost his left vocal chord about 14 years ago after a bad cold and a hoarse voice that never recovered. Flash forward to last year, and the same thing had happened, except to his right vocal chord. Page has been known to speak softly on Google's earning calls in a voice "some people find funny," though many say his words are well-chosen. 

In addition to the health news, Page announced his plans to fund a research project for the Voice Health Institute. The project will be lead by Dr. Steven M. Zeitels, a laryngeal surgeon from the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and one of several doctors who treated the Google chief.

The project will start with a patient survey to “gather information about the prevalence and extent of vocal paralysis and paresis," according to Venture Beat, who broke the story. 

Last updated: May 15, 2013


Julie Strickland covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurial endeavors of all kinds for Inc. Her work has been published in Brooklyn Based and City Limits in New York, the Free Times in Columbia, SC, Real Travel Magazine in London, and Daegu Pockets in South Korea. She lives in New York City.

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