Feeds

Larry Page acknowledges creeping vocal paralysis

Google boss asks for public's help to cure condition

Top three mobile application threats

It has often been noted that Google's CEO Larry Page comes across as somewhat muted when speaking, which he took a break from entirely last year with an unexplained throat issue. Now he has revealed what the problem is.

His vocal issues began 14 years ago after a heavy cold left him very hoarse. His condition was diagnosed as partial paralysis of the left vocal cords, possibly as a result of the virus which sparked his initial cold.

"While this condition never really affected me – other than having a slightly weaker voice than normal which some people think sounded a little funny – it naturally raised questions in my mind about my second vocal cord," he said. "But I was told that sequential paralysis of one vocal cord following another is extremely rare."

Not rare enough, it seems. Last June he caught another cold and his voice got worse, with the right side of his vocal cords suffering serious damage. Again, no cause could be found, but Page took time off from public speaking until October's Google earnings call.

Page said that the problems also slightly affect his breathing abilities while exercising (although he claims his kiteboarding stamina is undiminished), and that although his voice is strong enough for work and home use, public speaking is tough.

Cofounder Sergey Brin tells Page it makes him a better CEO because he chooses his words carefully.

Over the course of his illness, Page said he ran into Dr. Steven Zeitels of the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center, and agreed to fund research into the problem and how it might be cured. But, frustratingly for a Googler, there's a lack of data.

Vocal paralysis isn't a widespread condition, and there is a lack of case-study evidence for the condition. Page, therefore, is asking members of the public to contribute their experiences of the condition to the Voice Health Project.

As El Reg has noted Page's voice has noticeably deteriorated over time, and he says he finds giving long-winded speeches tiresome, in any case. "So surprisingly, overall I am feeling very lucky," he says – although that won't stop him trying to find a cure. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.