New Delhi: Sundar Pichai, an Indian American computer engineer and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur alumnus, was named CEO of Google on Tuesday.
The decision came after Google's founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin decided to re-organize the company by creating a mother company called Alphabet.
The new mother company will include, besides Google, units such as Calico (which focuses on Longevity), X lab (which incubates new efforts like Wing, Google's drone delivery effort) and units dealing with life sciences (such as the one working on smart contact lens that detects blood sugar level). Google's investment arms, Ventures and Capital, will also be part of Alphabet.
The journey of Sundar Pichai from a student of IIT-Kharagpur to Google CEO has been truly remarkable.
Pichai, a Chennai native, joined Google in 2004 -following a bachelor of technology from India's IIT-Kharagpur, an MS from Stanford, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's famed Wharton School, a stint at McKinsey & Co. as a management consultant, and work at semiconductor firm Applied Materials.
Subsequently, he went on to become senior vice president of Chrome, Google Apps, and then the head of Android.
The 43 year old technocrat will take charge of a slimmed down Google (quickly dubbed Google Minus) that Larry Page said will be stripped of companies "that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products," which will all go into Alphabet. Page will be CEO of Alphabet.
Explaining Pichai's elevation, Larry Page (co-founder Google) said he (Pichai) has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for Google's Internet businesses.Sergey (Brin) 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," he wrote.
Pichai got recognition when he initiated a toolbar, an add-on that gave browsers a handy Google search box. That modest project eventually led to Google Chrome, now used by 310 million people by Google's tally. The project got Pichai promoted to senior vice president of Chrome and Apps. And it's what led to a very lucrative new source of profit for the company.
During early years of his stint with Google, he worked largely behind the scenes as director of product development. In addition to the Toolbar, he was linked to desktop products like Google Gears and Google Pack, a collection of software Page introduced at CES 2006 that was another step in bringing Google's services to the desktop in the pre-Chrome days.
Under Pichai's direction, Google was ready to introduce the Chrome browser to the world. At the time of booming smartphone market, Google had a clear idea: to take Chrome into the world of desktop users and then to the mobile users.
On July 7, 2009, Google announced the operating system and made it an open source project, called Chromium OS, in November 2009. Chrome OS is targeted initially towards netbooks, super small notebooks designed primarily for Web browsing.