Under Eric Schmidt the operating committee, or "OC," set the strategic direction for Google. That all changed when Larry Page took over as CEO nine months ago and placed key product groups under his direct control with a plan to make the company more nimble and competitive. In doing so, Page replaced the OC with the "L-Team," an elite group of Google executives that signs off on all major decisions, according to sources speaking to Reuters.

Notable L-Team members include the head of Google's social business Vic Gundotra, Android chief Andy Rubin, and YouTube head Salar Kamangar. The team also includes a few of the original OC members like CFO Patrick Pichette, Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond. Others members of the disbanded operating committee like Rachel Whetstone, head of communications and public policy; Marissa Mayer, head of Google Location and Local Services; and Shana Brown, head of Google's philanthropic arm, are now on the outside of the inner circle. Reuter's sources say it's "unclear" whether Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin have formal roles in the L-Team, as neither is regularly involved in the day-to-day business activity of Google.