By Arun Kumar
Chennai born, IIT Kharagpur-educated Sundar Pichai became the CEO of the core business of Google as the search giant in a major corporate restructuring formed an umbrella company called Alphabet.
With the change entrusting Pichai, 43, with operational management of Google’s search, YouTube and financial-services units, the company’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page will run Alphabet-Page as CEO and Brin as president.
Several other companies will operate under Alphabet acting as the parent holding company, including Google, a company focused on health efforts called Life Sciences, and a company focused on longevity called Calico.
Pichai who holds an MS from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has worked at Google founded in 1998 since it went public in 2004, most recently as the senior vice president of product.
He is the second person of Indian origin to head a major IT company after Hyderabad born Satya Nadella who became CEO of software giant Microsoft in February 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.
“This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google,” said Google chief executive Page in a blog post titled “G is for Google”.
“A key part of this is Sundar Pichai,” he said. “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,” Page wrote.
“Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google,” he said.
“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,” Page wrote.
“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 organize the world’s information,” Page wrote.
“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,” he noted.
Google will continue to focus on Internet products. Android, YouTube, search and ads will remain part of Google Inc.
Other departments spinning off into their own sub-companies include research focused Life Sciences (Google contact lenses), the Google X lab (driverless cars, Google Glass, drone delivery), and Calico (increasing longevity).
Google Ventures and Google Capital will also become independent Alphabet companies.
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.
Brin will continue to head up Google X in addition to his role as president of Alphabet. Eric Schmidt will become Alphabet’s executive chairman.
“We are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products-the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands,” said Page.