NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Google ( GOOG) served up a nice fourth-quarter earnings beat with a side of surprise: The search giant announced that on April 4, co-founder Larry Page will replace Eric Schmidt as CEO. "As our results today show, the outlook is bright. But as Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated," said Schmidt in a Google blog post that hit the site at the same time as the company's earnings report. "So Larry, Sergey and I have been talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making -- and over the holidays we decided now was the right moment to make some changes to the way we are structured."
Schmidt will assume the role as Executive Chairman, and serve as an advisor to Page and co-founder Sergey Brin. Google's adjusted profit rose to $8.75 per share from $6.79 during the same quarter last year. Analysts had expected adjusted profit of $8.07 per share. The company posted adjusted revenue of $6.4 billion, beating analyst forecasts of $6.05 billion. Google said the number of paid clicks, the number of times that users clicked on advertising to generate revenue for the company, increased 18% year-over-year and 11% over the third quarter. The company currently holds $35 billion in cash and has 24,400 employees, up from 23,331 last quarter. Shares of Google rose 0.98% to $632.94 in after-market trading Thursday. --Written by Olivia Oran in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Ozoran. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.