Vocal cord paralysis slows down Google

After a long period of silence Google’s CEO Larry Page, yesterday said he has been unable to speak in public events due to a paralysis of his vocal cords.

Page, whose failure to speak at the Google Q2 2012 earnings conference raised concerns especially since it occurred not long after the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, said the condition has also prompted him to fund voice-related medical research through the Voice Health Institute in Boston, Mass.

In a blog post yesterday, Page traced the problem to about 14 years ago when his voice became hoarse and he “never fully recovered.”

“So I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis,” Page said. “This is a nerve problem that causes your left vocal cord to not move properly.”

Doctors were never able to identify the cause although there were speculations it may have been a “virus-based damage from my cold,” he said.
Larry Page

Although physicians told Page that a relapse would be extremely rare, last summer the Google chief suffered the same condition again.


He said an initial recovery allowed him to do the work he needed at home and in the office although his voice was hoarse and “giving long monologues is more tedious for me and probably the audience.”

Since then, Page said, his condition has been improving although the vocal cord paralysis affects his ability to exercise.

“That said, my fiends still think I have way more stamina than them when we go kite surfing. And Sergey (Brin, Google co-founder) says I’m probably a better CEO because I chose my words more carefully,” he said.

Read the rest of Page’s post here


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