Sundar Pichai has been named CEO of Google’s holding company, Alphabet.
Pichai will take over Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as CEO of Alphabet, four years after doing the same at Google.
For those unfamiliar with Alphabet, the conglomerate is essentially Google’s parent company. This is despite being founded in 2015, 17 years later than Google.
The umbrella company owns Google along with several other businesses, including AI research company DeepMind, self-driving tech company, Waymo and drone delivery company, Wing.
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The 47-year-old Indian-American joined Google in 2004 and became CEO of Google in 2015. This latest announcement means he is CEO of both Google and Alphabet.
Google co-founder, Larry Page, announced the change in a statement:
“It is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google. I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations. I have been spending quite a bit of time with Sundar, helping him and the company in any way I can, and I will of course continue to do that.
“Google itself is also making all sorts of new products, and I know Sundar will always be focused on innovation—continuing to stretch boundaries. I know he deeply cares that we can continue to make big strides on our core mission to organise the world’s information. Recent launches like Google Photos and Google Now using machine learning are amazing progress. Google also has some services that are run with their own identity, like YouTube. Susan is doing a great job as CEO, running a strong brand and driving incredible growth.”
Page also discussed Google and Alphabet’s on-going strategy in his statement. He referred to their desire to diversify with “smaller bets” outside of Google. It’s these smaller bets that make up the rest of Alphabet’s holdings.
The Google co-founder said:
“As Sergey and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, ‘Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.’
“We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.”
The management re-structure is intended to simplify the leadership of the companies. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will no doubt remain closely involved with Pichai taking over the role of Google and Alphabet figurehead.