“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”
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have stepped down as CEO and President respectively, of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai will become CEO of both Google and Alphabet.
The two will continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders and members of Alphabet’s Board of Directors, they said, handing over responsibility for strategic direction for the first time in 21 years.
The move comes amid some inner disquiet about Google’s management: most evidenced by recent issues surrounding its moonshot cybersecurity startup Chronicle, which has seen executives abandon ship after the company (intended to be at least quasi-independent) was re-absorbed into Google.
Google is also facing antitrust investigations in both the US and Europe.
Fifty attorney generals are investigating Google in the US and preparing to expand their antitrust investigation from advertising into the company’s search and Android businesses, sources told CNBC this week.
In Europe antitrust regulators are close to launching a fresh investigation into Google’s data collection, Reuters claims.
John Hennessy, Chairman of Alphabet’s Board of Directors, said: “It’s impossible to overstate Larry and Sergey’s contributions over the past 21 years. I’m grateful that they will continue their involvement on the Board.”
Page and Brin wrote: “We believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents – offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!
“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.
They added: “We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!”
Sundar Pichai joined Google in 2004 and helped lead the development of Google Toolbar and then Google Chrome. He became Google’s CEO in August 2015 and joined Alphabet’s board of directors in July 2017.