Why Sundar Pichai came to be the CEO of Google
The Indian-born CEO of Google has plenty of aces up his sleeve
He’s had truly modest beginnings
He was born Pichai Sundararajanin in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. His father worked as an electrical engineer although Sundar was exposure to technology was minimal in their two-room apartment where he grew up without a TV or a car. Despite being a multimillionaire, Sundar still remains a largely austere individual with a very simple, sparsely populated office space and an even simpler demeanor.
He’s a genuine prodigy
Everyone unanimously has fantastic things to say about Pichai, including his college professors who, according to a report in The Hindu, claim that “he was doing work in the field of electronics at a time when no separate course on electronics existed in our curriculum”. Sundar also has an exceptional memory for recalling statistical data. According to his family, Sundar has the ability to memorise phone numbers after having dialed them just once.
He is the head of the new, restructured Google
Sundar is a big part of the extreme changes at Google. With former Google chief Larry Page now heading Alphabet – an umbrella of Google companies which include Life Sciences, Calico, etc. Alphabet’s new CEO is Sergey Brin.
He is an IITian. And then some…
As can be expected of any Google employee of Indian origin, Sundar is one of the most highly-educated employees at Google. All of 43 years old, Sundar hails from Chennai, Tamil Nadu where he did his schooling before heading off to IIT Kharagpur on full scholarship, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in technology. This was followed by an M.S from Stanford University (again with full scholarship) and an MBA from Wharton School where he was honoured as a Siebel and Palmer Scholar.
This made Pichai a highly valuable mix of engineer and administrator, which aided his meteoric rise in the $66 billion company he now heads.
He’s quite the athlete
Google is famous for its penchant for hiring overachievers, so Pichai had to have been more than just a genius. He’s also quite the cricketer, having captained his high school cricket team to victory in the Tamil Nadu finals.
He’s also famous for his diplomatic skills
Being the head of Android also meant negotiating with the egos of all the mobile manufacturers Android tied up with. One of Pichai’s most successful negotiations involved getting Samsung to peel away Magazine UX – Samsung’s own which hid Google’s apps and required users to acquaint themselves with Samsung’s own app. Pichai sat down with Samsung and successfully got them to allow Android to function as Google intended it to.
He has headed a lot of successful Google projects
Pichai joined Google in 2004 as vice president of product and engineering. In 2008, Sundar led the launch of the highly successful Google Chrome browser, which odds are, is being used to read this article. Pichai then began working on various Google search projects including Google toolbar, Desktop Search, Gadgets etc. In 2013, Pichai was put in charge of the all-important Android division after the Android co-founder and CEO stepped down. Besides this Pichai has also contributed heavily to the development of other Google projects including Maps, Google+, Google Apps etc.
Microsoft and Twitter wanted to hire him
According to the testimonials of his co-workers including Google co-founder Larry Page, Pichai has one of the best work ethics in the business along with being a masterful engineer. So impressive was his portfolio and his reputation for delivering what he promised that he was rumoured to be in the running for the position of Microsoft CEO after Steve Ballmer announced his resignation. Even Twitter wanted him to lead their Product division but Pichai declined thanks to Google reportedly offering him $50 million in stock, to keep him from leaving.
His net worth is reportedly $150 million
Although we don’t have an exact figure, it’s evident that Google pays him quite handsomely with a net worth estimated to be in multi-millions. Multi-multi millions.
He’s loved by all
Pichai’s presence in Google has led to an increase in transparency and affability. In an extensive report by Bloomberg, a senior colleague of Pichai said ‘I would challenge you to find anyone at Google who didn’t like Sundar or who thinks Sundar is a jerk”. It’s a tall claim given Sundar’s decade long career in Google – a duration which would have undoubtedly brought him in contact with the more bombastic egos that operate in the field. However almost every account of Sundar’s describes him as an attentive, affableand modest man with unparallelled enthusiasm and dedication toward Google.