NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Outgoing chief Eric Schmidt says Google's ( GOOG) new leadership won't significantly change the company's strategy, but judging by the comments from co-founder Sergey Brin, a bold attack on Facebook could be in the works. To date, Google has not been able to find its way in social media amid Facebook's massive rise to popularity. And even though Google remains dominant in the Net search business, it's clear that Facebook's network-of-friends community could give advertisers a much more trusting and intimate audience. Facebook's recent push into advertising and soon, mobile devices, has been seen as more than a casual threat to Google.
Wall Street however, was somewhat numb in its reaction to Google's sudden management shakeup and the pending departure of Schmidt. The move comes during what has been a big week in tech CEO changes, as Steve Jobs left Apple ( AAPL) Monday due to illness. Google shares, similar to the Nasdaq, were mostly flat Friday in the wake of the company's blowout fourth-quarter profit and sales report. Investors were looking beyond the financial performance and trying to gauge what is ahead for the stock now that co-founder Larry Page will be calling the shots in April. On a conference call with analysts Thursday, Page offered no clues as to his plans for Google. Page did mention twice that the Internet and Google were "still at the early stages" and that he was jazzed about the opportunities ahead. Analysts asked very few questions about the new leadership agenda on the call. And on Friday, few drew any strong conclusions. On the strength of Google's financial performance, Barclay's analyst Doug Anmuth raised his stock price target to $740 from $675 Friday. Anmuth didn't see anything necessarily huge about Page replacing Schmidt atop Google. "We don't view the CEO transition as that material of a change," Anmuth wrote in a research note. "And we still think Google will be run in a similar manner as it is today, and mostly by the same people." Schmidt wrote in the company blog that the breakup of Google's leadership trio was done "because managing the business had become more complicated" and under the new structure, there would be clearer responsibilities and accountability at the top.