Sundar Pichai has become the CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. He will now lead both Google and its parent Alphabet. The elevation comes after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin relinquished their control from the company. Larry Page became CEO of Alphabet in 2015 when the company restructured itself. He has now officially stepped down as CEO of Alphabet while Brin is stepping down as President of Alphabet. The co-founders have been out of the spotlight for quite some time and their departure is not a big surprise.
Larry Page steps down as CEO of Alphabet
In a blog post, the company announced that it is eliminating roles held by co-founders at Alphabet. “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President,” Page and Brin said in a blog post. “[Sundar] will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets,” they added.
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As Google restructured itself to Alphabet in 2015, Page became CEO of Alphabet while Pichai became CEO of Google. With Google contributing major share of revenue for the company, Pichai essentially ran much of the business. While they are leaving leadership position, Page and Brin will remain “actively involved” with the company as members of Alphabet’s board. According to CNBC, Page holds about 5.8 percent of Alphabet shares while Brin has about 5.6 percent. Pichai is estimated to hold about 0.1 percent of Alphabet shares.
In the last few years, it was widely reported that Larry Page and Sergey Brin was less actively involved with the company. A recent report revealed that Page spent more time with Kitty Hawk, a private company building electric aircraft. With Pichai at the helm, Alphabet will have to focus more on its other bets including companies like Waymo and Verily. The exit of Google co-founders is also widely seen as the end of the era of ‘don’t do evil’ at the company. Four employees of Google recently filed a labor lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination.
The company drew criticism for paying co-founder of Andy Rubin despite finding sexual misconduct claims against him to be credible. It has also scaled down company wide meetings known as TGIF. With advertising revenue from Google slowing down, the immediate challenge for the new CEO of Alphabet will be to revamp the image of the company. “I want to be clear that this transition won’t affect the Alphabet structure or the work we do day to day. I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone,” Pichai said in an email to Googlers.