Sundar Pichai to run Google parent company Alphabet as Page and Brin step down
Page and Brin had started the company twenty years ago. Though they stepped down from leadership roles, they will have effective control over the board where they hold more than 50% of the voting power.
Indian origin Sundar Pichai, the current CEO of Google, has taken over as the CEO of the parent organisation, Alphabet, as one of its co-founders Larry Page stepped down from the role. The other co-founder of the tech giant, Sergey Brin, has also announced his intention of stepping down from the role of the president.
The announcement, which marks the end of an era for the company, comes amidst a series of antitrust investigations and employee unrest.
"With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure. We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company," Page and Brin said in a letter.
The duo started Gooogle in 1998, when they ran it from a friend's garage, while they were PhD students at Stanford University in California.
The home where Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin rented the garage 8 years ago to set up Google is seen October 2, 2006 in Menlo Park, California. Reportedly, Google purchased the 1,900 square foot house where they used to rent out the garage from Susan Wojcicki for $1,700 a month. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
"Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost. While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!," they said.
Even though they stepped down from leadership roles, they will continue to be employees of Alphabet and members of the Board, where they hold 51.3 per cent of the voting power, which implies that they will continue to be in effective control over the company.
Alphabet was created in 2015 through a corporate restructuring of Google. It has a wide range of companies -- which deal with the search engine to self driving cars to internet-beaming balloons and Google Cloud.
"Sundar brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day. He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors," the co-founders said about Pichai, who has been with them for over 15 years.
I’m excited about Alphabet’s long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology. Thanks to Larry & Sergey, we have a timeless mission, enduring values and a culture of collaboration & exploration - a strong foundation we’ll continue to build on https://t.co/tSVsaj4FsR— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) December 4, 2019
While the announcement is considered a landmark in the history of the tech giant, many experts argue that it is not as significant as it seems.
Actually not as big a deal as it seems. 1. @sundarpichai has had purview over the big dogs of the company @Google and @YouTube for a while 2. Larry and Sergey have been AWOL for a while 3. The pair still control it all via dual class stock. So same same, though congrats to Sundar https://t.co/v39SGnJnhU— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) December 3, 2019
While Alphabet continues to be one of the most financially successful corporations, with billions of dollars in profits, its market dominance has come under scrutiny from the US Congress, state attorneys general, and federal antitrust regulators.
Once considered as one of the best places to work in, Google has also faced employee protests, after the company put several workers on administrative leave and later fired them.