Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have announced they are stepping down from their roles as CEO and President of Alphabet.
The pair will remain employees of Alphabet and sit on its board of directors, but will no longer hold their previous titles. Instead, Sundar Pichai will now be CEO of Alphabet as well as his current position as CEO of Google. Ultimately, this gives him executive control over Alphabet's other subsidiaries such as CapitalG, Google Fiber, Loon, Waymo, and DeepMind.
In a joint blog post, Page and Brin announced that "we’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company,” adding "and Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a president."
Alphabet is a multinational conglomerate that acts as the parent company of Google, amongst others. Its creation in 2015 has effectively enabled more flexibility within the structure of Google and its other interests, allowing each separate business more independence and freedom to grow without being tied into the Google name fully. While key products like web searching, ads, and YouTube fall under the Google name, Alphabet deals with slightly lesser-known endeavours such as the Verily heath care initiative and drone delivery service, Wing, in the US.
Both Page and Brin plan to remain active within the company and, of course, maintain that all-important co-founder position, but it's Pichai that will be taking on more responsibility.
In a mildly cheeky tone, Page and Brin suggested that the company was their child and that now it's a "young adult of 21", it's "time to assume the role of proud parents - offering advice and love, but not daily nagging". We're assuming that Pichai is going to have to work on his nagging technique then.
Pichai joined Google in 2004 and was instrumental in the development of Google Toolbar and Google Chrome. Since then, he has led product and engineering for Google products, and has been Google's CEO since August 2015.
For now, it's hard to tell what could be next for Google and Alphabet. It seems fairly likely that there may be some shifts in corporate structure there, given how such changes tend to go within major businesses, but when it comes to product changes - that's anyone's guess.
Expect 2020 to be an interesting year for developments at Google and Alphabet.
January 24 2020 | 12:00