On the morning of December 4th Beijing time, Google co-founder Larry Page is no longer in charge of the operation of the company he founded 21 years ago. On Tuesday, Mr Page announced that he had handed over the company to Sundar Pichai, a former Google CEO who has now been crowned CEO of Alphabet, which has been run by Mr Page for the past four years. Sergey Brin, Page’s co-founder, will also step down as alphabet’s president.
Brin and Page will remain on Alphabet’s board and control the company through their respective stakes.
If you don’t know much about Google’s operations, you might think the departure of the two founders is a big deal. Any company in the world’s largest company is worth noting if its founders choose to retire.
For Google employees and users of Google products, however, the departure of the two founders is hardly a big deal. Because for a long time, they have stopped focusing on Google’s core search and advertising business, focusing instead on “Other Bets”, such as health technology company Calico and self-driving company Waymo.
At the same time, the man in charge of Google has switched to Pichai. A year ago, it wasn’t Page who went to Capitol Hill for the hearing, but Pichay. Page and Brin’s recent high-profile appearances may be the video co-filmed by the two founders after Donald Trump won the election in 2016.
Former and current employees of the company also said there was a sense within Google that Mr Page was often absent. Until today, google had only a few executives reporting directly to Page, and if you’re not on the team, it’s hard to even see him.
In June, bloomberg reporters said in a column: “Over time, especially after Alphabet’s debut in 2015, Page’s official role seems to have shrunk to the size of a needle.” Where’s Larry Page? “
We’ll also find out that there’s a specific reason why Page and Brin (who have invested less in the company’s day-to-day operations than Page) now formally hand over control to Pichai.
It is also true that operating Alphabet is no longer a pleasure, and that the company and the entire technology industry are currently under scrutiny by regulators in the United States and around the world. Alphabet is also fighting employees who dare to speak out after thousands of employees took to the streets to protest the company’s handling of misconduct by high-paid executives. For the year that followed, the employees had been protesting within the company.
These employees may miss Page, but he is no longer at the helm of the company. A Google employee revealed that there had been a “sad post” on the company’s internal message board, which indicated that Page and Brin had chosen to leave during a difficult period in the company’s history.
Another Google employee said: “It feels like it’s just a very obvious thing, it’s been officially announced.” In my memory, we haven’t seen them in a long time. “
In addition, Wall Street’s reaction also reflects that the departure of the two men has no real impact on Google. Google’s share price was little changed in after-hours trading after the company announced the founder’s departure.