Sundar Pichai: Here's what you should know about the new Google CEO


We saw this coming, didn't we? A major shake-up at Google last year had put Sundar Pichai at the fore-front and in-charge of all products, except YouTube that was headed by CEO Susan Wojcicki (she’s the sister of Anne Wojcicki, the ex-wife of co-founder Sergey Brin and the one who let Page and Brin start Google in her garage).

Over the years, India-born Sundar Pichai has slowly yet steadily become a fore-runner at Google. After a leap from heading Chrome to in-charge of the core Google products including  Google Research, Google+, Google Maps, search, ads and more, he is now set to become the Google CEO. Over the last one year, he has been on stage demonstrating most Google products including the Android Pay lately.

In a surprise move, Google announced on Monday the launch of Alphabet Inc as its parent company with co-founders Larry Page as its CEO and Sergey Brin as president. This has paved way for Pichai to become the next CEO of Google, which will be the new entity’s largest fully owned subsidiary, a trimmed version of what it is known now. The new structure, which will take shape over the next few months, was announced by Page in a blogpost and in a filing to the Security and Exchange Commission.

Google’s main business will include search, ads, maps, apps, YouTube and Android and all related technical infrastructure.

“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies,” Page said in the post, adding: “Our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed.”

43-year old Pichai Sundararajan, popular as Sundar Pichai joined Google in 2004. We've encompassed this decade of his journey and rise to fame in our timeline below:

Education and background
Pichai was born in Chennai, India and completed his schooling from Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan. He later earned the Bachelors of Technology (BTech) degree from IIT- Kharagpur, and further went in for an MS from Stanford University. He also holds an MBA degree from University of Pennsylvania.

Before joining Google
Sundar Pichai has earlier worked for McKinsey & Company in management consulting. He has also worked in engineering and product management at Applied Materials.

Google and pre-Chrome era
Pichai joined Google in 2004  and is known to have worked on popular products like Toolbar, and also others like Google Gears and Google Pack, before Chrome was launched. However, it was the success of the Toolbar that helped Pichai pace through his career as Google noticed that it was significantly increasing the number of  user searches. This eventually made Google believe that it should have its own browser.

Rise of Chrome and Pichai
At Google, Pichai is popular for having led product management and innovation of Google's client software products such as Google Chrome and Chrome OS. Pichai is believed to be the man responsible for driving Google's Chrome OS and browser forward. In 2008, he was appointed as VP of product development and introduced Chrome browser. It was soon followed by Chrome OS in 2009. It was from 2008 that people started seeing more of Pichai at Google presentations and he soon became a known Google face. By 2012, he was the Senior VP of Chrome and apps.

Appointed as Android chief
Though Pichai had spent almost a decade at Google, it was only in 2013 that he became a well known figure worldwide after stepping into the shoes of Andy Rubin. Interestingly, Pichai joined Google in the same year that Rubin brought Android to Google via acquisition. Though Rubin helped develop Android to a great extent for almost a decade, Larry Page soon felt that Pichai would help give it a further push.

Ties with Samsung and Android One
Sundar Pichai is believed to be the man responsible for keeping smooth ties with partners like Samsung. He recently also launched the Android One initiative in India by teaming up with local manufacturers like Micromax, Spice and Karbonn.

CEO candidate at Microsoft
He was also rumoured to be one of the key candidates being considered for top position at Microsoft, which later went to India-born Satya Nadella.

Products head
Last year, Larry Page promoted Pichai to oversee core products including search, maps, Google+, commerce, advertising and infrastructure and more. This means, the heads of these departments will now report to Pichai. This puts Pichai at a very key position at Google, as the company’s main services such as search and advertising units help generate major chunk of the revenue.


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