Sundar Pichai is currently the CEO of both Google and Alphabet, under which a collection of Google’s companies including Life Sciences, Waymo and Calico function.
His unwavering determination and his goal of letting his thoughts to be heard is what Pichai has never wavered from. Read on to find out his journey from the cultural town of Madurai to becoming the CEO of Google.
Who is Sundar Pichai?
Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu to a middle-class family. That is, a family which was considered to be middle-class in the 1970s in India. Despite his simple upbringing, one which was not flagged with riches, Pichai’s goal of doing something great in his life never deterred. He went on to study in IIT Kharagpur and got a Bachelor in Technology.
He then further went ahead with his studies in the US and received a M.S from Stanford and an MBA from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Pichai worked at Applied Materials as an engineer and then worked for McKinsey and Company in the department of management consulting.
He then joined Google in 2004 where is rise to riches began.
After joining Google, Pichai was successful in leading his team to create Chrome, which gained success as one of the most used web browsers.
From then on, Pichai was slowly given more and more responsibilities. His ability to lead a team successfully was recognized by the higher ups. He began to be more involved in the development of various Google search products such as Firefox, Google Toolbar, Desktop search, Gadgets, and Google Gears and Gadgets.
After overseeing the successful launch of Chrome, within a year Pichai was put in charge of overseeing the web-based Chrome operating system for netbooks and desktop computers.
Google Apps and Android
Pichai’s expertise in managing and leading a team further allowed greater responsibilities to be put on him.
In 2013, Pichai was put in charge of Google Apps after its head Dave Girouard left Google to start his own company called Upstart.
In the following year, he was put in charge of Android after Android co-founder and CEO Andy Rubin stepped down in March 2013.
CEO of Google
When it comes to being held to the position of a CEO, Google was eager for Pichai to be rewarded the position for he was essentially an asset they did not wish to let go.
Sundar Pichai was becoming an increasingly sought-after individual among other tech giants. Twitter approached Pichai to potentially lead Product at the company but Pichai declined. He was also a running candidate for Microsoft after its CEO Steve Ballmer stepped down in August 2013.
And it seems the people associated with Google only had good things to say about Pichai’s work ethics and skills.
“He recruited, mentored, and retained a great team,” said former Google product manager Chris Beckmann. “Sundar’s team of product managers had a reputation as being among the best of the best, similar to the reputation of the software engineers within Search Quality.”
Beckmann added that he didn’t make enemies and “navigated those politics to make his team successful while inflicting the least possible damage on any other team.”
“He’s a very very strong opinionated person who has clear point of views about where product and initiative might go, but he’s very good at letting other people’s opinions emerge before he gives his own,” says former colleague Keval Desai.
When being appointed to be the CEO of Google, the then CEO Larry Page also knew the potential Pichai had. In a post, Page stated that he felt fortunate that someone like Pichai was running the company.
“He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility of our internet businesses. 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. 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.”
Soon after, Pichai was also appointed to be the CEO of Alphabet, with its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin saying that “Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet.”
“I’m excited about Alphabet and its long-term focus on tackling big challenges through technology,” Pichai stated. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Larry and Sergey in our new roles. Thanks to them, we have a timeless mission, enduring values, and a culture of collaboration and exploration. It’s a strong foundation on which we will continue to build.”
What are your thoughts on this? Comment down below!