Mountain View (dpa) - Google boss Sundar Pichai takes over after the withdrawal of the two founders from the daily business now also the leadership of the parent company Alphabet.
However, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google more than 20 years ago, largely retain control of the Internet company through special voting shares. At the same time, the dual role of Pichai cemented the dominance of Google within the alphabet braid.
Page was last alphabet boss, Brin held in management a post as "President" with an unspecified task. They retain their seats on the Board of Directors, which is the parent of the Board.
Industry observers have been speculating on the future of Page for some time now: The 46-year-old was barely visible to the public. He left Pichai already for example also the telephone conferences with analysts after submission of the quarterly numbers. At the same time, Page put money and time into the development of small flying machines that would one day become taxis.
Alphabet was put on Google in 2015 as a corporate roof. The idea was to build various new areas as independent sister companies alongside Google. For example, the robotic car company Waymo and the delivery drone developer Wing belong to the umbrella company. The revenue, however, still comes mainly from Google's advertising business. The other alphabet companies with their new technologies generate high costs with low sales.
Thus, the Google businesses in the past quarter on revenues of over 40.3 billion dollars (36.3 billion euros) - all other Alphabet companies brought in this time $ 155 million in sales. On the other hand, operational numbers came to $ 941 million, while Google earned $ 10.9 billion.
The 47-year-old Pichai comes from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. He came to the US in 1993 with a scholarship to the California elite Stanford University to study semiconductor physics. His parents had to resort to the savings to scrape together 1000 dollars for the ticket. It was more than her annual income, as Pichai told the magazine «Bloomberg Businessweek». He grew up in simple circumstances. The first phone was given to the family when Sundar was twelve years old. Their usual means of transport was a scooter, on which they climbed four. Sundar drove forward while standing.
On Google, Pichai launched on April 1, 2004 - the day the Internet Group's e-mail service started, which he initially thought was one of the company's usual April fools. His first task was working on the Google search window in browsers such as Firefox or Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Pichai's suggestion that Google should develop its own web browser convinced the founders - and the success of Chrome was its ticket to the boardroom.
Page had switched with the founding of Alphabet from Google's top in the chief posts at the new umbrella company. Pichai took the lead on Google. He will also keep this job.
Pichai has to navigate Google and Alphabet through a difficult time. The Internet giant is - like other American tech heavyweights - under increased political pressure. Meanwhile, the long benevolent US competitive guard Google target. In Europe, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has already imposed fines of more than eight billion euros on Google. The Internet company put it away easily.
Recently, however, Google has also collided on several occasions with its employees. So released media reports, according to which Andy Rubin, the leading developer of the dominant mobile operating system Android, despite allegations of sexual coercion with a settlement of 90 million euros from the company retired, a good year ago protests at various Google sites. Rubin denied the allegations. Many employees nevertheless denounced sexism in the company. A software deal with the US military also caused trouble internally.
In the beginning, Google was head of Google, then cleared the place for the experienced software manager Eric Schmidt and returned in 2011 back to the top Google. The alphabet announcement made it clear that the two founders have no ambitions to return to management at some point.
"We've never been one of those who cling to management positions when we think there's a better way to run the business," Page and Brin announced in a blog post.