Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are undoubtedly Silicon Valley’s most legendary and low-key figures. The shock of the news of the duo’s departure this week seems inevitable, as the results come as a sign of a look back at the crucial moments of Page and Brin’s 23-year career. No two tech executives are as mysterious and low-key as Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The two men, who founded Google more than 20 years ago as a computer science graduate student at Stanford University, have made few public appearances in the past five years or so since announcing a restructuring of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to put the restructured company in charge of Sundar Pichai.
However, on Tuesday afternoon US time, Mr Page and Mr Brin made a shocking announcement that they would hand control of Alphabet to Sundar Pichai, Google’s current CEO, and effectively permanently quit management.
The news sounded sudden, but it felt inevitable. Page and Brin seem to have been out of the company’s day-to-day operations for a long time, and now the announcement is just a formal announcement. Now it’s the Sundar Pichai show, from start to finish. (Page and Brin will retain their controlling stake in the board and both plan to maintain regular communications with Pichai.) )
For two of the most enigmatic technology leaders of a generation, leaving their company at a time when its market value hovers around $1 trillion is actually a fitting end. But it’s also a disturbing moment for Google. Since Page and Brin first retired in the summer of 2005, the search giant has faced increasing scrutiny from employees, media organizations, activists, regulators and lawmakers. Many of these disputes are caused by Thepage and Brin’s inventions, either because they did not foresee the way Google might cause harm, or because they have clearly steered the company in a direction that violates standard corporate ethics.
In this context, it is important to look back at the important moments of their careers and how the actions they have taken have had a huge impact not only on the technology industry, but also on the Internet and society itself. What Page and Brin has created is likely to last for decades, so understanding how Google has developed to where it is today will be an important step in figuring out where it is headed in the future.
(Google microlabel used from 15 September 1997 to 27 September 1998)
1996-1999: Page and Brin meet at Stanford to co-found Google.
August 1996: Larry Page and Sergey Brin meet at Stanford University, develop PAGERANK, and start Google.
In 1995, Page and Brin met at Stanford University, where they were both working as a graduate student in computer science. Google’s origins are a story about the origins of an idea that page’s vision is that the World Wide Web search engine can rank links based on how often they are linked to other pages. With Brin’s help, the idea became PageRank, google Search’s basic algorithm. The search product was launched online at Stanford University in 1996.
1996: Brin’s resume hides “goals” detailing his future lifestyle.
Brin’s 1996 resume is still available in Stanford University’s online archives (http://infolab.stanford.edu/-sergey/resume.html). Before he started Google, he was working on projects that included a movie rating platform and a code conversion tool that converted academic papers into HTML files.
But if you look closely at the source code of The Brin resume page, you’ll find that Brin’s hidden “goals” are naked: “big office, high-income, less work.” Regular foreign business trips will be a bonus. Fortunately for Brin, he enjoyed the lifestyle for the rest of his Google career after he switched from co-president with Page to head the company’s experimental division.
(Source code for Bollinger’s resume page)
1998: Page and Brin complain about ad-supported search engines in a Stanford University paper.
Although Google is now one of the world’s most powerful online advertising forces, Page and Brin were not keen to turn their prototype search engine into an advertising machine at first. In a paper published at Stanford University entitled Anatomy of the Large Hypertext Web Search Engine, The authors make a reason for a search engine that it does not favor entities that pay high prices to improve their ranking:
In general, from a consumer’s point of view, the better the search engine, the less advertising consumers need. This, of course, will erode the advertising-backed business model of existing search engines. But there’s always money from advertisers who want consumers to change products or buy brand new ones. But we believe that advertising problems have led to enough mixed incentives, so having a competitive, transparent, academic search engine is critical.
(Larry Page and Sergey Brin)
1999: Page and Brin try to sell Google for $1 million, then drop it to $750,000.
In 1998, Page and Brin formally founded Google and cleverly changed the company’s name from Backrub to Google.
In fact, according to Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, Page and Brin tried to sell Google to Excite, an internet portal, in 1999 for $1 million. The well-known venture capitalist had negotiated with Page and Brin to cut the price to $750,000, but Excite chief executive George Bell still refused to accept the deal. Google’s market capitalisation is now close to $913 billion.
2000-2002: “No Evil” slogan established, rejectYahoo acquisition, the Schmitt era began
2000: Google makes the slogan “no evil” a top value for business.
There are different accounts of the origin of “don’t be evil”. Paul Buchheit, Gmail’s inventor, wrote in his personal blog in 2007 that he coined the term at a conference on corporate values as “a means of cracking down on other companies, especially our competitors, which, in our view at the time, was somehow user-exploited”.
But marissa Mayer, an early Google engineer who later became Yahoo’s CEO, wrote it on a whiteboard in 1999. Buchheit also confirmed the claim, saying that after a meeting to discuss the company’s values, Patel wrote it on the company’s whiteboard to help it spread within the company.
No matter who the origin came from, Page and Brin agreed around 2000 to make the slogan a formal value of the company. This statement was later formally explained in the company’s prospectus and S-1 listing application. “We will adhere to the ‘do not evil’ principle, maintain user trust and do not accept payment for search results,” Page wrote in S-1.
August 2001: Page gives up the CEO position to Eric Schmidt.
After officially signing up in 1998 and launching Google to the public, Page and Brin were one of the fastest-growing companies in history. For graduate students who drop out of school, the responsibility is a little too much. In particular, earlier this year, Mr Page’s high-profile attempt to fire all of Google’s project managers was eventually reversed after his leadership was publicly refuted.
Eventually, at the request of investors, Page and Brin brought in Eric Schmidt, Novell’s chief executive. In a 2001 television interview, Mr. Brin described Mr. Schmidt’s management as “parental supervision.” This is a viable way for Google’s shareholders and the company’s more experienced executive leadership to avoid the stubborn and social-spending Page doing too much harm to the company while the company continues to grow exponentially.
Ultimately, however, Page’s ability to get others involved and in control is an experience he has learned throughout his career, recognizing that power and forward-looking leadership are not always inextricably linked, and that he and Brin can retain their influence at the company without oversight of all aspects of the business. At the time, though, Page was unhappy that he had to hand over control to a non-engineer.
2002: Yahoo wanted to buy Google for $3 billion, but Page and Brin refused.
If you look back from 2019 and learn about Yahoo’s ultimate fate, you might find it hard to believe. In 2002, Yahoo, an unprecedented Internet giant, wanted to tap into Google’s fast-growing search business. So much so that Yahoo was willing to pay as much as $3 billion for it, which was too high at the time, when Yahoo CEO Terry Semel thought the start-up’s revenuewashes were low.
Yahoo sees the value of Google, which is commendable – after all, Yahoo’s leadership was right, and Google became a great company – but Page and Brin didn’t intend to sell the company. Less than three years after they were willing to sell Google for $750,000, Google has grown into an entity they believe is worth more than 4,000 times that price.
Looking forward 15 years or so, Yahoo was sold to Verizon and then merged into Oath, a media group that eventually changed its name to Verizon Media. It is said that people are still using its e-mail service.
2004-2008: Google goes public, buys Android, YouTube, etc.
August 2004: Google goes public with a market capitalisation of $27 billion; Page and Brin create class B stocks with super voting rights.
Just a few years after hiring Schmidt as CEO, Google is booming like a rocket, flying not only into the tech industry, but also to the entire U.S. business world. Google filed for an initial public offering in August 2004, raising $1.7bn, valuing the company at $27bn.
One particularly noteworthy aspect of Google’s IPO was Page and Brin’s decision to create a so-called super-voting Class B stock, which was only available to them, Mr. Schmidt and a handful of other executives. Class B shares are 10 times more voting on Class A stocks, meaning Page and Brin will take more than 50 per cent of the shares to maintain permanent control of the company, even after they formally leave office.
At the time, Page called the move a way to “maximize long-term value.” Later, many well-known Silicon Valley companies, including Facebook, followed Page’s lead. Co-founders believe that shareholders’ focus on short-term profits could jeopardize their goals. “We are creating a long-term and stable corporate structure. By investing in Google, you are making an unusual long-term bet on this team, especially Sergey and I, and our innovative approach,” Page wrote.
AUGUST 2005: PAGE BUYS ANDROID FOR $50 MILLION, WITHOUT TELLING SCHMIDT.
One of Page’s most prescirateable commercial calculations was the rise of mobile computing, which quickly moved in the summer of 2005 to buy a small start-up called Android for $50 million. He did not tell Schmidt, who was CEO at the time, because Page was convinced that Android co-founder Andy Rubin could help the company break into the mobile software market.
Of course, Android will continue to be the most popular mobile operating system in the world. In 2007, just after Rubin watched Apple CEO Steve Jobs launch his first iPhone launch, the Android project completed its final correction. Rubin was in a taxi in Las Vegas when he watched Apple’s launch live on the Internet, and was shocked by Jobs’s release, an anecdote that became famous. But with the launch of the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream in 2008, the first Android phone was launched and laid the foundation for the world’s first open source mobile operating system.
October 2006: Susan Worthy persuades Page and Brin to agree to buy YouTube.
Susan Wojcicki is a 16th-year Google employee and a founding employee of the company’s garage. That means she has the trust of Page and Brin, but getting Google’s leadership to approve a $1.65 billion takeover of an online video site called YouTube does require her to be persuasive.
Mr. Worthy, who runs Google’s own fledgling video platform, quickly decided that YouTube was the clear winner of the fierce competition for online video. So when Google still had the upper hand at the negotiating table, she quickly bought it. “I saw an opportunity to combine the two services,” Mr. Wojcicki recalls in the book Measure What Matters, a venture capitalist john. I put together a number of spreadsheets to justify the $1.65 billion purchase price… and convinced Larry and Sergey. It turned out that it was a wise decision to listen to Worthy, despite the endless controversy surrounding YouTube.
September 2008: Thanks to Sundar Pichai, Google releases Chrome.
After Page and Brin hired a group of developers from Mozilla Firefox, and on the advice of Superstar product manager Sundar Pichai, Google set out to build a better web browser. Although then-CEO Schmidt insisted that Google stay away from browsers, he later called it a “fierce browser war.” The end product is Chrome. Chrome eventually dominated the market, one of Pichai’s most stunning business successes, which led to the promotion of the product manager to CEO a few years later.
2011-2014: The Schmitt era ends, Page returns, undercurrents surge
January 2011: Page becomes CEO again and Schmidt becomes executive chairman.
After 10 years at the helm of Google, Mr. Schmidt ended his tenure at Google with a cheeky tweet, saying, “Google no longer needs to be watched by adults every day.” “This is the biggest management change in Google’s history, with Page back as CEO and Schmidt as executive chairman.
All three retain super-voting shares, giving them full control over the company’s direction, but the move marks a major shift for Google. “One of my main goals is to make Google a big company with the agility, soul, passion and speed of a start-up,” Page said in an interview with The New York Times. “
It was the beginning of a new era for Google, with Page and Brin using their control of the company to launch Google X Labs and explore experimental hardware and long-term projects that are not within the scope of their core products.
June 2012: Brin shows Google Glass with a live skydive demo.
At the time, Brin’s official title was “Co-Founder”, which was responsible for developing new products. He will be remembered forever as the first person to launch Google Glass. Google Glass is the first product developed by Google X (now known as X), and the lab is also known as the Moonshot Factory. Google Glass was an early attempt at a headset, and criticism of privacy issues, design and so on turned out to be a failed project.
At the time, Brin’s official title was “Co-Founder”, which was responsible for developing new products. Bryn nebet led to the launch of a mass-produced facial computer, Google Glass. Developing the first product of Google X (now just X), the lab’s in-lab weasel project is called the “Moon Probe Factory,” and Google Glass is an early attempt to head-up displays that will fail, while open privacy issues, design criticism, overall chaos, chaotic launches.
But when Brin first showed the device at Google’s I/O conference in 2012, it seemed like the future was really coming from the sky. Google hired a group of skydivers to jump off a plane over San Francisco, and the skydiving process was broadcast live through Google Glass, worn by the skydivers, with people at the venue experiencing the visual effects of landing at high altitude son. No doubt this is the most impressive technical demonstration since the iPhone was released, and it was Page and Brin telling the world that Google doesn’t just develop boring web products. They signaled to all people who watched it and online that Google would be able to move forward faster than any of its competitors.
2012: Page suffers from vocal cord paralysis.
For most of 2012, Page was largely silent, and the following year he revealed in an article published in Google Plus that he was suffering from a rare form of vocal cord paralysis. This has been the case at various stages of his life, but he was particularly hard hit in the year he returned to the helm. This led him to miss the company’s 2012 I/O conference.
Although Page continued to speak at the 2013 I/O conference just days after the revelations, the admission would mark the beginning of a scartail. Over the next few years, Page began not attending earnings conference calls and gave few media interviews to the media, as his voice grew smaller and more hoarse as the condition affected his breathing.
MAY 2013: PAGE DISCUSSES HIS VISION FOR GOOGLE ISLAND
One of Page’s most high-profile speeches, and his last public address, was at Google’s I/O conference in May 2013. A year ago, Brin announced the launch of Google Glass on the same occasion. That day, In a bright red T-shirt and a black jacket, Page detailed his vision for the so-called Google Island, where technological advances can move forward without the influence of stupid issues such as regulatory requirements and ethics.
The speech was largely a repetition of Page’s desire for a different kind of technology industry that was not responsible for corporate interests, shareholders and advertising. He wants a world for which new technologies can be developed and for the benefit of mankind.
But it was a grotesque speech that felt like the beginning of Page’s transformation to the super-rich, aloof founder, or at least the first public omen, that he couldn’t stand the daily struggles of ordinary people. Of course, if you recall it, you’ll remember the imaginative speculation about life on Google Island, written by technology journalist Matt Honan for Wired magazine.
September 2013: Google creates CALICO, which focuses on life.com.
With the launch of Google X, the debut of Google Glass and the unveiling of the company’s self-driving car project, the search giant has turned its attention to science. Page is particularly interested in extending life. So the company created Calico, a biotech company dedicated to fighting death, through its Google Ventures venture. He is led by Bill Maris, a founding partner at Google Ventures, who hired Art Levinson, a former CEO of Genentech, as CEO.
It’s another sign that Google, under Page, is willing to invest heavily in issues that go far beyond online search and mobile operating systems. So far, however, Calico seems to have failed to make any meaningful progress in the life sciences, medicine or biotechnology industries. It remains unclear what the company’s current focus is.
2014: Brin has an affair with employee Amanda Rosenberg.
It’s fair to say that back to the end of Mr Brin’s time at Google, he was an energetic, tony-like futuristic figure. But in early 2014, a series of disastrous news detailed his affair with an employee of the Google Glass team.
Amanda Rosenberg became google glass’s marketing manager and began developing a relationship with Bryn, who was already with Google employee Susan Wojcicki’s sister, Anne, as it appeared to transform it from an experimental product from Google X to a mature product. Wojcicki is married and Anne Wojcicki is the founder and CEO of gene technology company 23andMe.
The incident is a rare but visible stain on Mr Brin’s career, although his stake in the company could have prevented any attempt to oust him. Brin and Worthy divorced, and Page allegedly didn’t talk to his co-founder for some time after the incident. Rosenberg recently began to openly discuss the impact it had on her career and personal life.
October 2014: Andy Rubin leaves Google, but Page chooses not to disclose allegations of sexual misconduct.
Google is also dealing with another case of sexual misconduct, but this time it is much more serious. Android co-founder Andy Rubin left the company at the end of 2013, when Rubin was in charge of Google’s robotics division, Replicant Robotics. Rubin reportedly left peacefully. “I wish Andy everything goes well next,” Page said in a statement at the time. “With Android, he’s created something really amazing — with over a billion satisfied users. “
But behind the scenes, Rubin was fired after an employee accused her of forcing her to have sex in a hotel room. Google investigated the claim, deemed it credible, and decided that Rubin must leave, but Page, Brin and other executive team members reportedly decided not to disclose the information to the media.
Rubin left Google with a $90 million severance bonus and a $150 million stock bonus. Until October 2018, the New York Times published a report detailing the allegations against Mr. Rubin and how Google executives handled them. Rubin then founded Essential, a smartphone company, while Google decided to dismantle its robotics division and sell its most valuable asset, robotics maker Boston Dynamics, to SoftBank.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is conducting an internal investigation into claims that its executives handled sexual harassment, and after a number of other incidents, in addition to Rubin, a massive employee protest in 2018 was seen as a response to Google’s high-profile mishandling of Rubin.
2015-2019: Alphabet is founded, Peppa, Brin disappear
August 2015: Google restructures into Alphabet.
By the summer of 2015, Google was a far cry from when Page was CEO four years ago. The company has been involved in self-driving cars, wearable technology, the Nexus smartphone family, and many other products and experimental studies covering artificial intelligence, cloud computing and quantum computing, and even the internet.
Given this complexity, in Page and Brin’s view, it’s time to change. “Our company is doing well today, but we think we can make it leaner and more responsible. So we’re creating a new company,” Page wrote in a blog post.
The new company was named Alphabet, and Page and Brin emerged from Google’s day-to-day management as Alphabet’s CEO and president, respectively. The process makes Google’s financial data easier to analyze because the various experimental divisions are separated from Google. More importantly, Sundar Pichai was promoted to CEO of Google.
During Page and Brin’s career, it was the moment when the pair decided to let go of the steering wheel, and the beginning of their more serious retreat from the public eye. Of course, the two still retain their super-voting shares, and Pichai reports directly to Page. In the restructuring process, Google abandoned the official motto of “do no evil” and replaced it with the “do the right thing” Alphabet’s code of conduct. (Peppa and Brin kept this phrase in a separate Google Code of Conduct.) )
2016: Page starts investing in “flying cars”
After Page handed Google full control of Pichai and became alphabet’s chief executive, he more or less disappeared from the public eye. He still makes regular appearances at the company’s plenary meetings, and you can also see him hanging out with Brin in various parts of the Google plex campus. But he no longer speaks at investor conference calls, media or product launch sons.
His last project was “Flying Cars”. More precisely, it’s eVTOLs, short for vertical take-off and landing electric vehicles. Page is now involved as an investor and consultant in a number of start-ups dedicated to bringing in in-air electric vehicles. It’s not clear why he’s so interested in the technology, or why he’s put money into this particular market in the years since Alphabet’s restructuring – he hasn’t been interviewed about his interests.
January 2017: Brin makes rare public appearance to protest Trump’s immigration order
After Page’s plan to disappear from the public eye in 2015, Brin became a somewhat hermit. It’s hard to find anything about what he’s done in the years since he became Alphabet’s president and left Google. There are reports that he is building a huge “air yacht”, a plane carrying supplies for humanitarian missions. Last year, he joined technology industry leaders to express concern about the rapid development of artificial intelligence. But that’s the only news.
In January 2017, however, he appeared in his personal capacity at San Francisco International Airport to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration-related executive order. That naturally made headlines, with Brin and Pichai speaking shortly after the company pledged to support immigration and oppose Trump’s executive order. Since then, Brin has not been seen in public since, supporting any political cause.
(Screenshot of Breitbart News)
September 2018: Breitbart News leaks a video of Page and Brin googled a plenary meeting after Trump’s election.
Although Page and Brin have been out of the public eye since around 2015, they are reportedto active at Google’s famous weekly TGIY. At this meeting, executives answer employee questions and talk about important topics in the company and the news. In 2016, shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, a meeting was leaked to the conservative news agency Breitbart two years later.
“Most people here are very upset and sad,” Brin said at the start of the meeting. I’m disgusted with this election, and I know many of you are the same. This is a stressful time that conflicts with many of our values. I think it’s a good time to reflect. …… Obviously, a lot of people are different than our values. “
This may be the last time the public has seen Google’s co-founder speak in front of a crowd, and that was all the more certain after the two men’s announcement on Tuesday. Earlier this month, Mr Pichai announced to employees that Google would scale back its weekly meetings because of the leak, as the company’s leadership has come under increasing internal and external pressure since the company’s restructuring. Although Page and Brin are no longer involved in the company’s operations, they still control the company because of their super-voting shares.