Sundar Pichai: 5 things you need to know about Google’s new CEO
Google shocked the tech world recently when it announced Alphabet, a holding company that will own the search giant and its other existing projects. As part of the changes, Google also appointed a new CEO, Sundar Pichai. Here are the five most important things you need to know about the new boss:
- Sundar Pichai first joined Google when he was 32, and already possessed qualifications in semiconductors and engineering. Alongside a degree in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Pichai also earned a MS from Stanford University in material sciences and engineering, as well as an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
- Pichai’s first role at Google involved the Google Toolbar project. Designed to allow users of other web browsers to use Google’s search functions quickly and easily, the Google Toolbar was embedded into browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox to enable Google’s search business to maintain a foothold in its competitors’ products.
- Google soon realised that a Toolbar represented a step in the right direction, but that it was also still vulnerable to Microsoft and Firefox. There was nothing to stop them banning toolbars from their browsers, and replacing them with their own search functions. Instead, Pichai and members of his Google Toolbar team were instrumental in pushing the development of a Google-branded web browser. The result? Google Chrome became one of the company’s greatest success stories, after being demonstrated by Pichai in September 2008.
- After the huge success of Google Chrome, Pichai was gradually given more responsibility, and promoted to vice president and, later, senior vice president. After Dave Girouard’s decision to leave Google and create his own startup, Pichai was placed in charge of the Google’s App’s division – the home of Gmail.
- Pichai’s biggest move came when he took control of Android. Following his work to bring Chrome to the mobile OS, Pichai was given control of the project after the departure of co-founder Andy Rubin. As a result, Pichai already controlled much of Google’s main services well before his recent appointment to CEO.