Sundar Pichai- The Man behind Google’s Explosive Growth
Indian-American business leader Sundar Pichai also called Pichai Sundararajan serves as Alphabet Inc.’s and its subsidiary Google’s chairman and CEO. He was included on Time’s 100 most influential people list in 2016 and 2020. Pichai joined Google in 2004, where he was in charge of product management and innovation for a number of Google’s client software products, including Google Chrome and ChromeOS, as well as being substantially responsible for Google Drive.
Quick Facts on Sundar Pichai:
Occupation: Business Executive
Designations: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google and Alphabet Inc.
Date of Birth: June 10-1972
Place of Birth: Madurai, Tamilnadu, India
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Anjali Pichai
Children: 2, Kiran Pichai(son) Kavya Pichai(daughter)
Spoken Languages: English, Tamil, Hindi
Hobbies: Playing and watching Soccer, and Cricket, Reading, Sketching, playing chess.
Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamilnadu, India. Lakshmi, his mother, worked as a stenographer, while Regunatha Pichai, his father, was an electrical engineer at the British multinational GEC. His father also owned a factory that made electrical components.
Pichai completed his education at Vana Vani School at IIT Madras and his senior year at Jawahar Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School in Ashok Nagar, Chennai. He is a prominent IIT Kharagpur alumnus who graduated with a degree in metallurgical engineering. He received his M.S. in materials science and engineering from Stanford University and his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was recognised as a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar, respectively.
Initially, Pichai had the plan to do a PhD but instead decided to do a job. He started working in an Applied Materials firm as an engineer and product manager. Then he joined McKinsey & Company and worked as a management consultant. Pichai realised that switching to Google would be a good professional decision after attempting to persuade a McKinsey colleague not to do so. In 2004, on April Fool’s Day, Pichai joined Google. Surprisingly, it was on the same day that Gmail was released to the public.
How Did Sundar Pichai Become CEO of Google?
Pichai joined Google to work on the search toolbar as a manager. The toolbar was created to make it simple for users of Internet Explorer and Firefox to access Google search. Pichai was inspired by the toolbar’s popularity to consider Google creating its own web browser. Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt said it wasn’t worth the expense.
Pichai, who firmly believed in the concept, eventually persuaded Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin to introduce their own web browser, Google Chrome. Pichai oversaw the introduction of Chrome, which later surpassed Firefox and Internet Explorer to claim the title of best web browser worldwide. In 2008, Pichai gained recognition on a global scale as a result of this, and he was appointed Google’s vice president of product development.
Later, he oversaw the developments of other programmes including Gmail and Google Maps. Pichai unveiled ChromeOS on November 19, 2009; the Chromebook was made available for testing and evaluation in 2011, and it was made available to the general public in 2012. He unveiled the new video format, WebM, and announced the open-sourcing of the new video codec VP8 by Google on May 20, 2010.
Pichai expanded the range of Google products he was responsible for adding Android on March 13, 2013. Prior to Google, Andy Rubin, the director of Jive Software, oversaw Android. He served from April 2011 to July 30, 2013.
Pichai was apparently vigorously chased for employment by microblogging site Twitter in 2011, and in 2014. He was also mentioned as a possible CEO for Microsoft, although in both cases he was given huge cash packages to stay with Google. Eventually the position of CEO of Microsoft went to Satya Nadella.
Pichai was also associated with Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs in 2014. Consequently, when Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin declared the establishment of Alphabet Inc. in August 2015, it came as no surprise to industry insiders that Pichai was named CEO of Google, which was reorganised as a subsidiary. In December 2019, he was also named CEO of Alphabet, succeeding Page, who stepped down.
What People Say about Him:
In the words of Chris Beckmann, a former Google product manager, “He hired, mentored, and retained a superb team.” “Like the software engineers within Search Quality, Sundar’s team of product managers had a reputation for being among the best of the best.”
Keval Desai, a former co-worker, describes him as “a really strong opinionated person with distinct point of views about where product and initiative might go, but he’s extremely good at allowing other people’s perspectives emerge before he gives his own.”
The Government of India in 2022 awarded Pichai the Padma Bhushan Award, the country’s third-highest civilian honour.
Pichai enjoys playing football and cricket. Anjali Pichai, a chemical engineer from Kota, Rajasthan, who was born into a middle-class family, is the wife of Sunder Pichai and frequently serves as the driving force behind all of his endeavours.
The couple met while they were in their first year of engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and quickly became close friends. The couple currently resides in San Francisco’s Bay Area with their two kids, a boy named Kiran Pichai and a girl named Kavya Pichai.
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