Larry Page just announced that Google has become part of a new parent company called Alphabet Inc. As part of the deal, Google's iconic co-founders Page and Sergey Brin stepped out of their roles within Google, appointing Sundar Pichai CEO.
But who is he?
Here are 21 facts you may not know about Google's surprise new CEO:
- With this reorganization of Google/Alphabet Inc., Pichai will control: search, ads, maps, the Google Play Store, YouTube, and Android.
- In February 2014, Pichai was rumored to be in active negotiations with Microsoft to become that tech giant's third CEO.
- His colleagues tell Bloomberg that Pichai tends to walk it out when he's deep in thought. It's not unusual for him to wander away in the middle of a meeting, only to return with the solution to whatever problem is being discussed.
- Born in Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, in 1972, Sundar's full name is Pichai Sundararajan. Though he had a modest upbringing, he's now worth a reported $150 million.
- His father, an electrical engineer, had to save for three years to buy the family a new scooter, but made sure Pichai and his brother had the best education the family could afford, at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan.
- Pichai's father told Bloomberg he believes that talking to young Sundar about the challenges in his work as an electrical engineer led to his son's interest in technology.
- Pichai was captain of his high school cricket team before earning his bachelor of engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology; his MS from Stanford; and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. When Sundar won a scholarship to Stanford, his father withdrew more than his annual salary from the family's savings to fly him to the United States.
- Prior to joining Google, he did management consulting with McKinsey & Company.
- Pichai has been with Google since 2004, when he joined to lead product management for Google Chrome and Chrome OS. He was involved with Google Drive and went on to oversee Gmail and Google Maps, as well.
- In 2011, Pichai drew attention when he was considered to lead product and replace Jason Goldman at Twitter. He chose to stay with Google.
- In 2013, Pichai took over Android founder Andy Rubin's portfolio to run mobile platforms. He was also entrusted with wooing more than a billion global users to the Android ecosystem.
- According to Business Insider, Pichai was skilled at staying out of politics and drama at Google. When he reported to Marissa Mayer, he reportedly sat outside her office for hours, if necessary, to make sure his team had good performance reviews.
- When he was almost lured away to Microsoft, Google reportedly negotiated desperately to retain Pichai for $50 million a year in stocks.
- Pichai was on the board of advisors for Ruba Inc. and was a director of Jive Software Inc.
- "Android One," Pichai's pet project designed to provide affordable smartphones in all households worldwide, launched in India in September 2014.
- Though he was just appointed CEO of Google, Pichai has effectively been responsible for day-to-day operations at Google since October 2014.
- Pichai had been Page's right-hand man for some time and is credited with trying to convince WhatsApp founder Jan Koum not to sell to Facebook. He also helped Page convince Nest's Tony Fadell to merge his company with the Google team, among other things.
- Dieter Bohn at The Verge describes Pichai's office as "clean to the point of being spartan" and noted that this simplicity was reflected in his demeanor.
- Now married to his love Anjali, whom he dated in India before she joined him in the United States, Pichai is the father of two.
- Pichai is known for his soft-spoken, diplomatic nature. In 2013, he accompanied Larry Page and Google CBO Nikesh Arora to tour a Samsung factory in South Korea to help build Google's relationship with its partner.
- Pichai has an unusual gift that seemed little more than a curiosity to him when he was a child, but has served him incredibly well in adulthood: he has insane numerical recall and can remember every number he's ever dialed.