In the wide-ranging field of tech, some of the biggest names and brands have been famous for starting from very small beginnings. For instance, in 1996 Stanford University students Sergey Brin and Larry Page worked on a research project involving an internet search engine that returned search results via a new algorithm involving a website’s relevance to the search terms and not merely by repetition of those terms on a site. From this humble search engine was built Google, a ubiquitous online presence today. Page and Brin would take up leadership positions in Google’s parent company Alphabet, until this Tuesday.
The Verge tells us that as of December 3, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who until that time have served respectively as President and CEO of Alphabet Inc., are stepping down from their leadership roles. In their stead, Google product head Sundar Pichai will be taking over Page’s position as Alphabet CEO, while the President title will be eliminated from the corporate structure. Page has been chief executive officer of Alphabet since the 2015 restructuring that formed the holding company, and before that held the same position in Google since 2011, succeeding Eric Schmidt who became executive chairman.
A more detailed explanation of Page and Brin’s decision was laid out on a letter they posted on the Google blog. Google and other companies under the umbrella of the Alphabet Inc. holding company are now capable of operating independently. With that development, there comes a need to further simplify their overall management structure. “Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President,” the two co-founders noted in their blog letter, explaining how Pichai now holds the CEO title within both Google itself and the Alphabet parent company. Pichai himself posted on the blog to assure employees that the transition will have zero impact on Google’s daily operations.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page made mention in their letter’s introduction, that Google has never been a conventional company. This was demonstrated in the 2015 restructuring that led to the tech giant putting itself under a parent company, with other divisions like Waymo and X Lab separate from the original search engine and online product business at the core. Such a move was in contrast to the consolidation of industries that was happening at Silicon Valley at the time, yet it worked just as well.
Following their stepping down from leadership responsibilities, Page and Brin will remain influential through their active involvement in the board of directors for Alphabet Inc. They also have controlling voting shares from Alphabet, as befits their being co-founders of Google.
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