18 Nov 2017
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Chennai-born Sundar Pichai is new Google CEO

MUMBAI: Chennai-born Sundar Pichai, who was serving as senior vice president of products, will be the new CEO of Google.

Pichai, who went to IIT Kharagpur and later to Stanford and Wharton, will take charge as head of a slimmed down Google, replacing co-founder Larry Page.

In a surprise overhaul of its operating structure, Google has created a holding company called ‘Alphabet’ to pool many subsidiaries and separate the core web advertising business from newer ventures like driverless cars.

Alphabet Inc. will replace Google as the publicly traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all the same rights.

Google CEO Larry Page announced the change, saying he would hold the same title at Alphabet, the new holding company for the tech giant’s new ventures like the research arm X Lab, investment unit Google Ventures and health and science operations. Meanwhile, Pichai will lead the search unit at Google.

In a statement, Page said, “Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet. I am really excited to be running Alphabet as CEO with help from my capable partner, Sergey Brin as president. Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies, the largest of which is Google.”

Alphabet will include units focusing on life sciences including a glucose-sensing contact lens and the health research firm Calico, Page said.

Google X, which handles research on self-driving cars and Internet balloons, will also be a separate unit. Other units to be separated include the drone delivery project Wing, Google Fiber’s high-speed Internet, the home automation unit Nest and investment arms of the California technology giant.

Each of the separate companies will have its own CEO and run as a separate company, with Page and Brin monitoring from their seats as the head of the Alphabet universe.

“Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related,” he said.

Meanwhile, Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. The Google unit will include search and search ads, maps, apps, YouTube, Android and related technical infrastructure.