Google's Voice: Larry Page Explains Why He Went Silent Last Year

Last year, Google CEO Larry Page vanished from public view for several months, passing up major opportunities to speak to Wall Street, developers and the public (including last year's big I/O conference). Now we know why.

In a Google+ blog post on Tuesday, Page explained that he's long dealt with a partial paralysis of his left vocal cord — and that last summer, following a cold, he began to experience paralysis of his right cord as well. In neither case did doctors identify a cause, although they did diagnose Page with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an inflammatory autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland, back in 2003.

Page says he's recovered to the point that he can "do all I need to do as CEO," although Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Page uses a microphone to speak, even to small staff meetings of a dozen people.