Google CEO Pichai takes helm of parent Alphabet

December 04, 2019 09:41
Google boss Sundar Pichai will now also have the title of CEO at parent company Alphabet. Photo: Reuters

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai will replace Larry Page as CEO of parent Alphabet Inc, extending a long retreat from public roles and active management by Page and Sergey Brin at the company they co-founded 21 years ago, Reuters reports.

"While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it's time to assume the role of proud parents — offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!" Page and Brin wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Streamlining management could help Alphabet better respond to the challenges and focus on growing profits.

Alphabet, which owns more than a dozen companies including self-driving car technology business Waymo and health care software company Verily, emerged in 2015 as part of a restructuring of Google.

Page, who is known for having big expectations and strong thoughts on technological details, had wanted to focus on developing those newer businesses, which collectively lose money.

He left Alphabet’s biggest and most profitable unit, Google, to Pichai. Brin had stayed on as Alphabet’s president, spending some time on robotics and other research projects.

Page and Brin will remain directors, but will cede their CEO and president titles, respectively, immediately, Alphabet said.

The president role will not be filled, the company said, describing the changes as long discussed.

Page’s voice has been impaired for years because of a chronic condition, but his health did not play a role in the decision to step aside, Alphabet said.

“With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure,” the co-founders said.

“We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term.”

While publicly stepping back, the co-founders still control more than 51 percent of shares.

As of April, Page held 26.1 percent of Alphabet’s total voting power, Brin 25.25 percent and Pichai less than 1 percent, Reuters noted.

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