Chennai born, IIT Kharagpur-educated Sundar Pichai is the new CEO of Google as the search giant in a major corporate restructuring formed an umbrella company called Alphabet.
While the company’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page will run Alphabet – Page as CEO and Brin as president – Pichai has been appointed as head of a “slimmed-down” Google.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the man of the hour:
- Born in 1972, Sundar Pichai hails from Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- His father was an electrical engineer with a British firm called GEC. Although he worked in an MNC, Pichai senior had to work extremely hard to bring up his two boys. In the late seventies, he had to wait three years to get himself a new scooter but he did not compromise on providing the best education to the two kids.
- Sundar earned his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) in Metallurgical Engineering. He also holds an M.S. from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar.
- He has more than 15 years of experience developing high-tech consumer and enterprise products.
- He joined Google just before its 2004 initial public offering and several colleagues who worked with him in the years following said he never seemed anointed for the top job.
- He led successful efforts for difficult projects that were core to Google’s continued financial success, namely Toolbar and Chrome. Toolbar wasn’t an obviously likable product but it helped defend the presence of Google search on users’ computers during a critical period following the revelation of Google’s incredible profitability. Chrome extended that mission to improve the user experience of the entire web: keep users on the web and you’ll keep them searching on Google.
- Android’s cumulative growth has been staggering under him. If one tracks the 30-day-active-users of Android, the number has gone from 230 million a few years ago to 1 billion active users now.
- As of 2014, Sundar Pichai was given a $50 million annual salary package by Google. Some say this was a desperate move by Google as it didn’t want to lose Sundar Pichai to Microsoft or Twitter.
- Managing Larry Page is one of Pichai’s major skills. One of the main differences between the two, though, is that Page’s tendency is to say “no” to everything while Pichai’s tendency is to say “yes” to everything.