Google CEO Larry Page no longer has to sit on Eric Schmidt's knee and mouth words while the Google chairman speaks for him.
Page has been absent from the Internet company's biggest public events for weeks, and is recovering from an unspecified ailment that caused him to lose his voice.
Schmidt did most of his talking for him, but apparently this was restricted to asking for a "gottle of gear" at board meetings, so they sent Larry home to get better.
Page did not show up at the annual shareholders' meeting and there were some questions about his health.
Page is back at work and has been taking meetings at Google headquarters in Mountain View. Schmidt is still not saying what ailed the co-founder.
He said that Page was still recovering. "He is talking, but talking softly." There was no mention of him carrying a large stick.
The concern of shareholders and the press mirrors similar concerns that Apple investors had when Steve Jobs took time off sick. At the time there was the feeling that people should have known how sick Jobs really was.
Page is still expected to skip the company's post earnings conference call next week.