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The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin today announced that they were stepping down from their roles as CEO and President of Alphabet, the company structure that Google is a part of. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google will become CEO of both Alphabet and Google. Sergey Brin and Larry Page will remain on the Board.
In their letter, Sergey Brin and Larry Page used the analogy of parenting in reference to Google. They said that at age 21 it was time for the company they created to be able to exist without the co-founders daily influence.
Regarding Sundar Pichai, they said:
“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. He shares our confidence in the value of the Alphabet structure, and the ability it provides us to tackle big challenges through technology. There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future.”
I remember watching Matt Cutts at SMX Advanced in 2011 sharing an anecdote of Larry Page encouraging him to work on answering strange search queries like Warm Mangoes. Warm mangoes was about understanding that people wanted to know why mangoes became warm in boxes.
The point of the question was understanding user queries no matter how vague. That kind of forward thinking is what put Google on the path toward natural language processing and the advent of Google Assistant.
I actually had the privilege of meeting Sergey Brin at the very first Google Zeitgeist conference held at Google’s Mountain View headquarters. I met him at a cocktail party held after one of the conference days. Sergey was gracious about posing with me for a photograph.
Sundar Pichai has been leading Google since 2015. During that time Google has experienced remarkable growth as a search engine. It will be interesting to see how Alphabet grows under his leadership.
Read the official announcement:
A Letter from Larry and Sergey