Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google have stepped down from their positions as its CEO and President, respectively, with immediate effect at its parent company, Alphabet Inc.
However, both will continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders, and members of Alphabet’s Board of Directors.
“Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost. 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 letter posted on Tuesday afternoon.
“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. We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President.”
Going forward, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, will become the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will assume the role of managing Alphabet’s investment in its portfolio of “other bets” in areas including self-driving cars and life sciences. Besides this, he will also remain a member of Alphabet’s Board of Directors.
Pichai, who has been with Google since 2004, did his engineering from India. He then went on to study at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. During his early days in Google, Pichai helped the search giant develop its popular web browser, Chrome.
“I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Larry and Sergey in our new roles. Thanks to them, we have a timeless mission, enduring values, and a culture of collaboration and exploration. It’s a strong foundation on which we will continue to build,” Pichai said in Alphabet’s news release Tuesday.
He promised that both Alphabet and Google will remain focused on “the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone.”
The stepping down of Page and Brin represents the end of an era for Google that was founded by both in 1998 while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University.
The two co-founders said that Google has “evolved and matured” from the time they wrote their first founders’ letter in 2004. Over the years, the company has gone beyond a simple search engine with it providing popular consumer services such as Maps, Photos, YouTube, Mail and Drive platforms, as well as Made by Google devices, and more.
“We are deeply humbled to have seen a small research project develop into a source of knowledge and empowerment for billions—a bet we made as two Stanford students that led to a multitude of other technology bets. We could not have imagined, back in 1998 when we moved our servers from a dorm room to a garage, the journey that would follow,” wrote Page and Brin.
Despite not holding important management roles at Alphabet, the two plan to continue talking with Pichai “regularly”.
“Sundar brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day. He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors. He shares our confidence in the value of the Alphabet structure, and the ability it provides us to tackle big challenges through technology. There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future,” Page and Brin wrote about Pichai.