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Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google and Alphabet Inc.
Summary

Sundar Pichai is an Indian-American business executive and the CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary, Google LLC. He was born on July 12, 1972, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Pichai joined Google in 2004 and played a significant role in developing several key products, including Google Chrome, Chrome OS, and Android.

Pichai gained widespread recognition in 2015 when he was appointed as the CEO of Google, taking over from co-founder Larry Page. Under his leadership, Google expanded its product portfolio, focusing on artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and hardware devices. Pichai oversaw the company's reorganization in 2015, which resulted in the creation of Alphabet Inc. as Google's parent company.

Known for his calm and humble demeanour, Pichai has emphasized the importance of innovation, user experience, and accessibility in Google's products and services. He has also advocated for the responsible development and use of technology, addressing issues such as privacy, data security, and ethical considerations.

Pichai holds a Bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and he later earned a Master's degree in Material Sciences and Engineering from Stanford University. He was awarded the prestigious Siebel Scholar and was a recipient of the Silver Medal for his academic achievements.

Sundar Pichai's leadership has propelled Google and Alphabet to the forefront of the technology industry, driving innovation and shaping the digital landscape. He continues to play a vital role in guiding the company's vision and strategy while focusing on creating products that positively impact billions of users worldwide.

Biography

Early life 

Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. His mother Lakshmi was a stenographer and his father, Regunatha Pichai was an electrical engineer at GEC, the British conglomerate. Pichai grew up in a two-room apartment in Ashok Nagar, Chennai. Pichai graduated from the Jawahar Vidyalay school, a Central Board of Secondary Education school in Ashok Nagar, Chennai and completed the Class XII from Vana Vani school in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Subsequently, he received a degree from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in metallurgical engineering and is a notable alumnus of that institution. He also has an M.S. from Stanford University in material sciences and engineering, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he became a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar. 

Career 

Pichai worked in engineering and product management at Applied Materials and in management consulting at McKinsey & Company. Pichai got a job at Google in 2004, where he managed the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google’s client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS. He then went on to supervise the development of other applications such as Gmail and Google Maps. On November 19, 2009, Pichai gave a presentation of Chrome OS; the Chromebook was issued for trial and testing in 2011, and released to the public in 2012. On May 20, 2010, he declared the open-sourcing of the new video codec VP8 by Google and launched the new video format, WebM. On March 13, 2013, Pichai annexed Android to the list of Google products that he manages. Android was formerly managed by Andy Rubin. He was a director of Jive Software from April 2011 to July 30, 2013. Pichai was chosen to become the next CEO of Google on August 10, 2015 after previously being appointed Product Chief by CEO, Larry Page. 

On October 24, 2015 he moved into the new position at the completion of the formation of Alphabet Inc., the new holding company for the Google company family. Pichai had been submitted as a contender for Microsoft’s CEO in 2014. 

In August 2017, Pichai got a lot of publicity firing a Google employee who wrote a ten-page manifesto criticizing the company’s diversity policies and explaining that “distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and … these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership”.

While noting that the manifesto raised a number of issues that are open to debate, Pichai said in a memo to Google employees that “to suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK”. 

In December 2017, Pichai was a speaker at the World Internet Conference in China, where he declared that “a lot of work Google does is to help Chinese companies. There are many small and medium-sized businesses in China who take advantage of Google to get their products to many other countries outside of China.” Sundar Pichai appeared before Congress in late 2018 to answer questions related to a number of controversies at the time. Employees had been in open revolt over the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations, lawmakers had threatened Google with regulations, and company leadership was undecided about bringing censored search engines to China.


Vision

When overtaking as Alphabet's CEO, Pichai shared his vision for the company

"In many ways, the founding mission of Google back in ’98—”to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”—is even truer and more important to tackle today, in a world where people look to their devices to help organize their day, get them from one place to another, and keep in touch. The mobile phone really has become the remote control for our daily lives, and we’re communicating, consuming, educating, and entertaining ourselves, on our phones, in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. 

As we said when we announced Alphabet, “the new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google.” 

Those opportunities live within our mission, and today we are about one thing above all else: making information and knowledge available for everyone. This of course brings us to Search—the very core of this company. It’s easy to take Search for granted after so many years, but it’s amazing to think just how far it has come and still has to go. I still remember the days when 10 bare blue links on a desktop page helped you navigate to different parts of the Internet. Contrast that to today, where the majority of our searches come from mobile, and an increasing number of them via voice. 

These queries get harder and harder with each passing year—people want more local, more context-specific information, and they want it at their fingertips. So we’ve made it possible for you to search for [Leonardo DiCaprio movies] or [Zika virus] and get a rich panel of facts and visuals. You can also get answers via Google Now—like the weather in your upcoming vacation spot, or when you should leave for the airport—without you even needing to ask the question. Helping you find information that gets you through your day extends well beyond the classic search query. Think, for example, of the number of photos you and your family have taken throughout your life, all of your memories. 

Collectively, people will take 1 trillion photos this year with their devices. So we launched Google Photos to make it easier for people to organize their photos and videos, keep them safe, and be able to find them when they want to, on whatever device they are using. Photos launched less than a year ago and already has more than 100 million monthly active users. 

Or take Google Maps. When you ask us about a location, you don’t just want to know how to get from point A to point B. Depending on the context, you may want to know what time is best to avoid the crowds, whether the store you’re looking for is open right now, or what the best things to do are in a destination you’re visiting for the first time. But all of this is just a start. 

There is still much work to be done to make Search and our Google services more helpful to you throughout your day. You should be able to move seamlessly across Google services in a natural way, and get assistance that understands your context, situation, and needs—all while respecting your privacy and protecting your data. The average parent has different needs than the average college student. Similarly, a user wants different help when in the car versus the living room. Smart assistance should understand all of these things and be helpful at the right time, in the right way."


Recognition and Awards
Pichai is best known as the mastermind behind the launch of the Chrome browser in 2008. He played a pivotal role in convincing his seniors at Google to launch the browser which in time became the most popular browser on the internet and also led to the launch of the Chrome operating system. In 2022, Pichai received the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India, its third-highest civilian award.

References
Sundar Pichai
Nationality
American
Residence
San Francisco, California, United States
Occupation
CEO of Alphabet and Google
Known for
Leadership, Innovation, Technology
Accolades
Padma Bhushan Award - 2022
Education
IIT Kharagpur (BTech), Stanford University (MS), University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Social Media
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