8 facts you need to know about Google’s new CEO, Sundar Pichai

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Sundar Pichai was put in charge of Android in 2013.

In 2004,Pichai joined Google as its vice president of product management, where he led the team working on Google’s Chrome browser and operating system.

Pichai quickly began to receive more responsibility, however, taking on involvement with various Google search products including Firefox, Google Toolbar, Desktop Search, Gadgets, and Google Gears and Gadgets.

In September 2008, Pichai oversaw the successful launch of the Chrome web browser, and less than a year later, the web-based Chrome operating system for netbooks and desktop computers.

Pichai added another Google division to his portfolio in 2012 after Google Apps head Dave Girouard departed to start his own company, Upstart.

A year later, Pichai was put in charge of Android after Android co-founder and CEO Andy Rubin stepped down in March 2013.

Throughout his time at Google, Pichai has developed a sterling reputation for being well-liked, leading Recode’s Kara Swisher to call his recent promotion “a definitive case of nice guys finish first.”

Former Google product manager Chris Beckmann spoke highly of Pichaiin a recent Quora post, praising Pichai’s ability to helm difficult projects while building a strong team.

 

  1. “He recruited, mentored, and retained a great team,” said Beckmann. “Sundar’s team of product managers had a reputation as being among the best of the best, similar to the reputation of the software engineers within Search Quality.”
  2. Beckmann also mentioned that Pichai “avoided making enemies” in the midst of Google’s workplace politics and “navigated those politics to make his team successful while inflicting the least possible damage on any other team.”
  3. Pichai demonstrated his team devotion while working under Marissa Mayer, who then was a key executive at Google. According to The Information’s Amir Efrati, Pichai “used to wait for hours outside her office to make sure that she gave his team solid work-performance scores.”
  4. In addition to his team management skills, Efrati notes that Pichai has also been known to throw his weight around when necessary. At his year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Pichai reportedly “told Samsung’s mobile-products leader that Google was willing to ‘walk away’ from its enormous phone partnership with the company.”
  5. Pichai’s impressive track record at Google caused him to be approached by Twitter to potentially lead Product at the social network, but Pichai ultimately declined. In addition to Twitter’s interest, Pichai’s name was also mentioned as a potential front-runner for the position of Microsoft CEO after Steve Ballmer announced his resignation in August 2013.
  6. In October 2014, Google announced that Page would be stepping back to focus “on the bigger picture,” according to Recode, and that Pichai would take on a larger role as a result.
  7. Pichai took charge of Google’s core products, including search, maps, research, Google+, Android, Chrome, infrastructure, commerce and ads, and Google Apps.
  8. In a press release announcing Pichai’s new post as CEO Monday, Page wrote:”He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our internet businesses. Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google. I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations.”

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