The Republican answered questions from CEO Eric Schmidt at the tech giant's Mountain View headquarters.
If elected, Poizner promised to shake up California. He wants to streamline government agencies and overhaul the public school system.
"I'm going to rip control of public schools out of the hands of Sacramento politicians, and I'm going to move it down to the local level where it belongs and where it used to be. The education code in the 1960's was this size, now it's this size, 2,400 pages and growing rapidly. I want to give all public schools the same kind of freedom and flexibility that charter schools have," he said.
Despite the many challenges facing the state, Poizner says this is the best time to be governor, because he believes people are ready for dramatic changes.
This is the second candidates' forum at Google. Democrat Jerry Brown appeared last Friday.