Sunder Pichai is Google’s next CEO. The Chennai-born former senior VP of Google will now be in charge of overall operations of the search engine giant, as founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page move themselves up the ladder.
Pichai’s elevation to the top job at Google does not comes as a surprise – industry experts and observers had predicted that long ago. In fact, it is Pichai who has been running the operations at Google for quite some time now.
At Google, 43-year-old Pichai has been instrumental in the development of Chrome web browser and, most importantly, the Android OS, which is the world’s most popular mobile operating system.
Pichai is the man who handles the core money makers among Google products, including advertising. As CEO, his biggest challenge might come in the form of Facebook, whose video space is increasingly threatening YouTube.
“Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I’ve been tremendously enjoying our work together. He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our internet businesses,” Larry Page wrote in a blog post titled “G is for Google” on Monday.
Born into a humble family in Chennai, Pichai studied metallurgical engineering at IIT-Kharagpur before enrolling at Stanford on scholarship. He joined Google in 2004.
What is Alphabet?
Alphabet is the new parent company of Google and every other department that was once part of it. Alphabet is the result of a massive restructuring of Google.
As Larry Page puts it in his blog, the new company has been formed to make Google and all the departments related to it “cleaner and more accountable”.
“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products contained in Alphabet instead.”
Page describes companies “far afield” as those working on Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity). Google Ventures and Google Capital will also become independent Alphabet companies.
A major department spinning off into its own sub-company includes the Google X lab (driverless cars, Google Glass, drone delivery), which will be directly headed by Brin.
The Alphabet companies will retain their current leadership. Nest will be led by Tony Fadell, Sidewalk Labs by Dan Doctoroff, and Calico by Arthur Levinson. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki will now report to Pichai. Eric Schmidt will become Alphabet’s executive chairman. Page is the CEO of Alphabet, while Brin is its President.