Who is Sundar Pichai, the New Google CEO?

By Gary Cutlack on at

The new boss of Google is in an odd position. He's been effectively running things on behalf of company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin for some time, but now they've installed themselves as the bosses of Alphabet Pichai finds himself the new boss of a newly tinkered with Google.

He Was In The Tech News A While Ago For...

Well he really exploded on the nerd scene in 2013, when he was made boss of the Android division, taking over from departing Android lead Andy Rubin and running it alongside his Chrome browser and OS team. Since then, it's obviously been quite a successful run for Pindar, with Chrome continuing to be the most popular desktop browser around the world while also expanding its reach into the Android world, letting Google users sync their tab and histories across devices.

He took over the day-to-day running of many of Google's highest profile teams -- Maps, Search, YouTube, Advertising and more -- late in 2014, which he slotted in alongside his leadership of the Chrome and Android units. Which makes this CEO change something of a formality, as he's been The Boss Of Most Things for quite some time.

He Must've Been There Since The 1970s

Pichai only joined Google in 2004, so is actually quite a newbie. He makes that one promotion you got in 2009 look a bit rubbish. A management and engineering man, his first role at Google was vice president of product management, where he's credited with managing the old Google Toolbar. This, before the Chrome browser existed, was a key way users of Firefox and Internet Explorer performed web searches -- making Google the default search tool on rival browsers and therefore keeping Google's paid ad result machine fully operational.

He's A Nerd Come Good, Just Like Me. One Day I Could Be Boss Of Google If I Read Reddit All Day!

He's not risen through the ranks by knowing about the internet and spending a lot of time looking at his phone. He studied  Metallurgical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur as a youth, so could also have something to offer when Google/Alphabet inevitably starts churning out cars, before winning a scholarship at leading US University Stanford. He's quite the brainbox who'd probably be running Starbucks by now if he'd taken on a summer job at a branch in the early 1990s.

A summary on Quora, where questions were answered by several ex-Google people, focuses on how he's just a clever and nice man who's got where he is by cleverly navigating internal politics while not burning any bridges.

Is He A Google Lifer? 

He was named, unofficially, as a runner for the position of Microsoft boss, a prize that was eventually taken by Satya Nadella. Pichai has also reportedly been tapped-up by Twitter, but, with this CEO move, is presumably handcuffed to Google for the next few years at least.

Is He On Twitter?

Yes, albeit in a half-hearted, five-times-a-month, retweeting the odd tab to show he's still alive capacity. He hasn't got around to posting the news on his Google+ page yet, though, which was last updated in May. He's a busy man. That must be the reason.