Google chief executive Sundar Pichai was named the CEO of parent firm Alphabet, following a major shakeup at the tech giant on Tuesday. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the men who shaped up the Internet and co-founded the search engine 21 years ago, have stepped down from their roles of CEO and President, respectively.
Pichai shared the announcement on Twitter:
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
Page and Brin will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. They will continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders and members of Alphabet’s Board of Directors, the company said in a statement.
Commenting on the transition, the co-founders shared a founder’s letter. “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. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets. We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!” they write.
Referring to Google as a 21-year-old young adult, the duo added, “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!”
The management changes come amid growing changes in cyber policy and data privacy and regulation. Pichai has been at the forefront of Google – testifying in the Congress and managing recent controversies faced by the company, including executive misconduct.
Pichai sent an email to Googlers worldwide on Tuesday, informing the decision.
“When I was visiting Googlers in Tokyo a few weeks ago I talked about how Google has changed over the years. In fact, in my 15+ years with Google, the only constant I’ve seen is change. This process of continuous evolution — which the founders often refer to as ‘uncomfortably exciting; — is part of who we are,” he writes.
“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. At the same time, I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology,” added Pichai.
Alphabet shares rose almost 1% in extended trading on Tuesday. The stock closed at $1,294.74 in New York, leaving it up about 24% so far this year, reported Bloomberg News.
Brin and Page founded Google, a search engine, in a garage near Stanford University in 1998. Since then, it has ballooned into a $900 billion-empire offering popular consumer services that followed Search, such as Maps, Photos, YouTube, Android and Chrome platforms, Google Cloud, and a base of fundamental technologies around machine learning, cloud computing, and software engineering.