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Google co-founder Larry Page is obsessed with improving the performance of the world's most used Internet search engine, a top Google executive says. "Larry literally sits in front of our search engine and counts how long" it takes, Omid Kordestani, senior vice president of global sales and business development, said in a session at the Web 2.0 Conference on Thursday night. "He doesn't think it is fast enough." After the session, Kordestani confirmed the statement and added that "Larry is always pushing the envelope."

On whether executives are preoccupied with hitting financial targets now that the company is public, Kordestani said: "Pressure is there, but there's a lot of confidence in our business model."

On the perceived rapacious tendencies at Google, which is hiring 10 people a day on average, including Microsoft executives, and building a one-million-square-foot campus at the NASA Ames Research Center: "We are trying to find ways so we are not viewed as a gorilla in (Silicon) Valley."

On the much-hyped competition with Microsoft: "I think we'll fail if we focus obsessively on the competition."

Later at the conference, Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of MSN Information Services, was asked to comment on the perception that Microsoft is in the defensive position with regard to Google: "It's a great feeling to be in a more underdog status."

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