Google CEO Larry Page discloses rare vocal cord problem
Washington/New Delhi: Google's CEO Larry Page on Wednesday disclosed that he is suffering from partial vocal cord paralysis, but said he is fully fit to attend work.
Revealing his health condition, 40-year-old Page wrote on his blog on Tuesday that it was in the last summer that he learned that his second vocal cord has also reduced movement.
The problem for Page started about 14 years ago when he got a bad cold and his voice became hoarse. Later, he was "diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis" which is "a nerve problem that causes your left vocal cord to not move properly".
"...After some initial recovery I'm fully able to do all I need to at home and at work, though my voice is softer than before," Page, who leads the world's biggest search engine, said.
Page, who is also the co-founder of Google, had replaced Eric Schmidt as its CEO in April 2011. Schmidt had announced Page would be absent from a number of company events.
The Wall Street and Silicon Valley deeply worried about Page's health, especially after considering that Apple Inc had refused to disclose initially the details of its co-founder Steve Jobs' health problems. Jobs died of cancer in October, 2011.
Page's disclosure clears the mystery around his health. Earlier he had missed Google's annual shareholders meeting in June and a conference call to discuss the company's quarterly earnings in July, apparently due to health reasons.
He has since then attended three earnings call conferences, much to the relief of Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
Meanwhile, Google's stocks rose to its lifetime high of USD 911.76 on Nasdaq today.
Page also said he will fund a research programme to study the vocal cord nerve function.
"I met one doctor- Dr Steven Zeitels from the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center --who is really excited about the potential to improve vocal cord nerve function. So I?ve arranged to fund a significant research program through the Voice Health Institute, which he will lead," Page said.
Page, who owns Google stock worth about USD 22 billion, however, did not disclose the size of the funding for the research programme.
Despite extensive examination, Page said, doctors never identified a cause for the ailment but speculated virus-based damage to the cord due to the cold.
"But overall over the last year there has been some improvement with people telling me they think I sound better. Vocal cord nerve issues can also affect your breathing, so my ability to exercise at peak aerobic capacity is somewhat reduced," he said.
The Google CEO said that he has also been diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis in 2003 which is common benign inflammatory condition of the thyroid which causes me no problems.
"Though my condition seems to be very rare, there are a significant number of people who develop issues with one vocal nerve...Finally, we've put together a patient survey to gather information about other people with similar conditions," he said.
Page has started online survey to collect data about people suffering with similar ailments.