Google's India-born chief executive Sundar Pichai has been elevated as the CEO of parent company Alphabet Inc, replacing current CEO and co-founder Larry Page. Pichai, who was born in the southern Indian city of Chennai, arrived in the United States for higher studies after completing his engineering degree at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur.
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergie Brin said in a statement that there is "no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future." They added that Pichai, who came from humble beginnings, "brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day."
Big challenge ahead for Pichai
Alphabet's big move comes amid Google's ongoing tussle with antitrust investigations and controversies over privacy and data practices around the world. Alphabet, the Google parent, was formed in 2015, while search giant Google itself was founded 21 years ago by Brin and Page. Pichai, 47, became Google CEO in 2015. He was formerly product chief at the technology giant.
"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 said in a blog post. We've never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there's a better way to run the company," they added.
Why is Page stepping down?
While Page and Brin will remain directors at Alphabet, the title of President will not be filled the company said. The company did not specify why Page is stepping down, but there have been reports that his voice has been impaired for years due to a chronic health condition.
Alphabet is one of the world's most valuable companies and its profit had hit $30 billion in 2018, over revenue of US$110 billion, according to AFP. Shares in Alphabet rose 0.64 percent to $1,303 after news of Pichai's appointment as CEO emerged.