Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page is stepping down as CEO and handing the reins to current Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Sundai will now hold both positions as Page joins the board of directors.
Pichai whom Page is fond of became the CEO of Google in 2015 after a massive corporate restructuring which saw Google separate its profitable advertising business from its longer-term efforts, including self-driving car company Waymo and health-tech firm Verily. Pichai had trail-blazed while heading the Google’s Android and Chrome units. He is also an insider having been with the company for over 15 years.
Cofounder Sergey Brin, will also step down as Alphabet’s president and will join Page at the board of directors.
“With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets (self-driving car company Waymo and health-tech firm Verily) operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure,” Brin and Page wrote in a joint statement.
Alphabet’s stock rose less than a percent after-hours on Tuesday.
The news comes as Alphabet faces extensive challenges, both externally and from its own employees. As scrutiny of Big Tech has increased in Washington, an antitrust probe of Google could reportedly include not just its advertising business, but search and Android as well. Meanwhile, Google employees have repeatedly clashed with management on company policies and business practices. When a New York Times story in fall 2018 exposed the company’s mishandling of harassment claims, for example, more than 20,000 workers walked out of offices around the world. Employees have also publicly protested the company’s contracts with the Department of Defense and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, its treatment of contract workers, and most recently, the firing of four company organizers.
It is like an end of an era for the duo who started out with a search engine in 1998. They have since become fabulously wealthy. Forbes’ pegs Page’s net-worth at nearly $60 billion, while Brin clocks in only slightly behind him.
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