Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the two founding members of Google all the way back in 1998, have announced their decision to step down from their current roles at Alphabet, effective immediately. Larry Page was CEO of the company, while Sergey was President. While no President has been appointed, Sundar Pichai, who currently serves as the CEO of Google, will also now be CEO of the parent company, maintaining both positions simultaneously.
Alphabet was formed in 2015, as a company that oversaw many of businesses that were tied to Google. The management restructuring allowed Google to focus on its core businesses, while some of its other businesses - like Waymo - would become separate companies under Alphabet. At the time, Larry Page and Sergey Brin moved up from Google and to Alphabet, where they oversaw all of those businesses. Sundar Pichai was simultaneously promoted CEO of Google, after serving as Product Chief for years.
Now, Pichai is being promoted once again, keeping the role of CEO at Google, while also overseeing the many other investments of Alphabet. Larry Page and Sergey Brin will continue to be members of the board of directors of Alphabet, providing advisory for the company going forward. In their joint letter, the co-founders of Google expressed their confidence in the new leadership:
"Sundar brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day. He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors. He shares our confidence in the value of the Alphabet structure, and the ability it provides us to tackle big challenges through technology. There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future."
Sundar Pichai also commented on the news in a letter to employees, saying that the change won't affect Alphabet's structure or his work at Google:
“I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Larry and Sergey in our new roles. Thanks to them, we have a timeless mission, enduring values, and a culture of collaboration and exploration. It’s a strong foundation on which we will continue to build.”
Despite the small impact the decision may have on Alphabet's businesses, it is still a major change. After more than 21 years overseeing Google's operations in one way or another, both co-founders are moving away from their roles for the first time. You can find Alphabet's press release here.