Indian managers’ global journey notched another milestone as Chennai-born Sundar Pichai takes over as the new CEO of Google. He succeeds Larry Page. As Sundar Pichai prepares to head the world’s most popular search engine, the company announced an overhaul in its operations structure, with the creation of a new holding company called Alphabet. Larry Page will step down as Google chief and Mr Pichai will head a slimmed down version of the company.
Mr Pichai has been deluged with congratulatory messages from all over the world, including from Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. India’s social media-savvy Prime Minister Narendra Modi also joined in the congratulatory chorus: “Congratulations @sundarpichai. My best wishes for the new role at @google.”
Mr Pichai joined the search engine in 2004 just before its initial public offering and rose up the ranks. Apart from excelling at managing relationships, he is best known for overseeing the building of Chrome, the most popular internet browser today. His reputation rose with the success of Chrome. He also headed Android, Google’s mobile-phone operating system. Mr Pichai’s announcement as CEO was greeted by Wall Street as the stock rose 7 percent in after-hours trading.
Elite Club of Indian CEOs
Mr. Pichai is an engineer from IIT Kharagpur and later did his Masters at Stanford University followed by an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. With Alphabet becoming the holding coming now, Larry Page and Sergey Brin are expected to take up top positions in Alphabet Inc. with Brin as President and Page as CEO of Alphabet. Alphabet Inc. will replace Google as the publicly traded entity while the shares of Google would be automatically converted into shares of Alphabet along with retaining the same rights.
Mr Pichai joins the elite club of Indian CEOs heading top global corporations, including Ajaypal Singh Banga, President & CEO, MasterCard Inc; Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft: Francisco D’Souza, CEO, Cognizant; Indra Nooyi Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo; Shantanu Narayen, president & CEO, Adobe Systems Incorporated; and Thomas Kurian, president, product development, Oracle.
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