Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced in a joint letter published to Google’s public blog that they have relinquished their executive roles at the internet giant’s parent company Alphabet to Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai. While Page and Brin are stepping back from the day-to-day management of the company in their respective roles as chief executive officer and president, they will retain their board seats and still jointly control a majority of the voting power over company decisions. Alphabet, which is valued at almost $900 billion, was created in 2015 as part of a corporate restructuring of Google that was designed to split Google into its massive internet search and consumer products business, and other less mature divisions such as self-driving cars and its X lab. While Page and Brin, who founded the company in a California garage in 1998 after meeting as graduate students at Stanford University, have been an increasingly less visible presence at the company in recent years, the decision to cede management responsibilities to Pichai at this juncture was unexpected. Pichai, who is 47 years old, was born in India and attended Stanford University before joining Google in 2004 and becoming its chief executive in 2015. He will now assume a larger role in handling the many challenges facing the company from government investigations to increased scrutiny from the media and the public to activism among its employee ranks. Page and Brin can now focus on other endeavors, and according to their letter “assume the role of proud parents – offering advice and love, but not daily nagging” to the company that they created.