Feeds

Larry Page acknowledges creeping vocal paralysis

Google boss asks for public's help to cure condition

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.