Google chief executive Sundar Pichai will take over as the CEO of Google’s holding company Alphabet as the founding duo –Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from their executive positions.
47-year-old Pichai will replace Larry Page at the holding firm which includes Google as well as units focusing on “other bets” in areas including self-driving cars and life sciences.
However the founders, who created the internet giant as a start up around 21 years ago, “will continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders and members of Alphabet’s board of directors,” the company said.
Born in Chennai, Pichai studied engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur before heading to the United States to further his studies and career. He then studied at Stanford University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
He has spent 15 years at Google leading development of Google’s Chrome browser, before assuming the top post. He also led product development and engineering across all of Google’s services for a year before taking over as the CEO and adding with it oversight of Google’s advertising and cloud computing business.
In a letter to employees, Page and Brin wrote: “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company.”
They added that Pichai “brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day” and that there is “no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future.”
Alphabet was created in 2015, giving a separate identity to the original company Google and other projects such as autonomous car unit Waymo and smart cities group Sidewalk Labs.
In recent years, Alphabet has become one of the world’s most valuable companies, with a 2018 profit of some $30 billion on revenue of $110 billion.