Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced Tuesday that they are stepping down from their roles as CEO and president, respectively, at Google parent Alphabet. Google CEO Sundar Pichai will become CEO of Alphabet, and retain his current role at Google.
It marks the end of an era for Google. Page and Brin co-founded the search giant in 1998. They created Alphabet in 2015 as a holding company that includes Google.
Page and Brin published a blog post explaining their rationale for today’s announcement. From the post:
Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost. While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, 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. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets. 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!
Alphabet shares were up slightly in after-hours trading. The company is valued at nearly $900 billion.
Under the leadership of Brin and Page, Google was at the forefront of the trend of Silicon Valley tech companies opening Seattle-area engineering centers, establishing an outpost in Kirkland, Wash., in 2004.
The company now employs more than 4,500 people in the region and recently opened a new facility for Google Cloud and other engineering teams next to Amazon’s headquarters campus in the South Lake Union neighborhood.
Day-to-day – don't expect to see much change at all. Page and Brin very much in the background since Alphabet was created in 2015. Pichai has been the face of the company in front of investors, public and Congress.
— Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBC) December 3, 2019
Larry Page and Sergey Brin sit on over $100 billion and have barely given any signal to the philanthropy community over the last decade about what they're going to do with their fortunes.
Taking a "step back" from Alphabet would theoretically offer them time to figure that out.
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) December 3, 2019