Biography of Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google

 

Full name: Pichai Sundararajan, also known as Sundar Pichai

Date of birth: July 12, 1972 (age 44)

Place of birth: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Residence: Los Altos Hills, California, U.S.

Nationality: Indian-American

Citizenship: United States

Occupation: CEO of Google

Father: Regunatha Pichai

Mother: Lakshmi Pichai

Spouse/Partner: Anjali Pichai

 

Early Life

Sundar Pichai was born on July 12, 1972, in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. He is a computer engineer and the current CEO of Google Inc. The technology giant Google, which specializes in Internet-related services and products, underwent a major corporate restructuring in 2015 following which Alphabet Inc was launched as its parent company with co-founders Larry Page as its CEO and Sergey Brin as President. Pichai, who had been serving as Google’s head of Products and Engineering, was named the new CEO of Google which is the biggest company under Alphabet Inc. Pichai had joined Google years ago in 2004 as a product manager and led the innovative efforts for several of Google’s products including Google Chrome and Chrome OS which went on to become highly successful. Eventually he took over the management of other Google products like Gmail and Google Docs, and rose through the ranks rapidly. Born in Chennai, India, Pichai was bright and creative from a young age. Having received his education from some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, he worked in engineering and product management at Applied Materials and in management consulting at McKinsey & Company before becoming a part of Google. Pichai is well-liked by his colleagues and is dubbed as the “man behind Google’s most important products.

 

Childhood and Educational Life

Sundar Pichai was born as Pichai Sundararajan on July 12, 1972, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. His father, Regunatha Pichai, worked as an electrical engineer for the British conglomerate GEC and managed a factory that made electrical components. His mother used to be a stenographer before having children. He has one brother.

Pichai grew up in a middle-class home and was a bright student. He excelled academically at his school, Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, and earned a seat in the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, one of the most prestigious engineering institutions in India.

He did his B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and then won a scholarship to study materials science and semiconductor physics from Stanford University from where he eventually earned his M.S.

 

Personal Life

Pichai is married to Anjali Pichai, a chemical engineer, a classmate at IIT Kharagpur. They have two children, and live in Los Altos Hills, in a home designed by Robert Swatt of Swatt Miers.

Sundar Pichai is a huge cricket fan and was the captain of his school cricket team. He is very good at remembering numbers and could remember every telephone number he dialed when he was young.

 

Working Career

Pichai worked in engineering and product management at Applied Materials and in management consulting at McKinsey & Company.

He joined Google in 2004. Initially he worked on Google’s search toolbar as a part of a small team. The toolbar gave users of Internet Explorer and Firefox easy access to Google search.

He also worked on other Google products like Google Gears and Google Pack. The success of Google’s toolbar gave Pichai the idea that Google should develop its own browser. He discussed his idea with his seniors and faced an objection from then-CEO Eric Schmidt, who thought that developing a browser would be a too expensive affair.

However, Pichai persevered and convinced the co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to launch Google’s own browser. Pichai played a pivotal role in the ultimate launch of the browser, Google Chrome, in 2008. Chrome proved to be a great success as it allowed the users to directly access Google’s search engine.

Pichai became an internationally known figure following the phenomenal success of the Chrome which eventually became the No. 1 browser in the world, surpassing competitors such as Internet Explorer and Firefox. The Chrome also paved the way for a series of other important products like Chrome OS, Chromebooks, and Chromecast.

In 2008, Pichai was promoted to Vice President of product development. In this position he started appearing more often at Google presentations and continued rising up the ranks in Google. By 2012, he had become the Senior Vice President of Chrome and apps.

On 19 November 2009, Pichai gave a demonstration of Chrome OS and the Chromebook was released for trial and testing in 2011, and released to the public in 2012. On 20 May 2010, he announced the open-sourcing of the new video codec VP8 by Google, and introduced the new video format, WebM.

In 2013, Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, left to work on a different project. Larry Page then made Pichai in-charge of Android as well. His influence continued to increase and he was made the Product Chief in October 2014.

Pichai had been suggested as a contender for Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, a position that was eventually given to Satya Nadella.

In 2015, Google formed a company, Alphabet Inc., to serve as a holding company and conglomerate to own the subsidiaries that were previously owned by Google, including a new “slimmed down” version of Google itself. On 10 August 2015, Sundar Pichai was named the new CEO of Google.

In February 2016, he was awarded 273,328 shares of Google’s holding company Alphabet, which led to a rise in his net worth. These shares were worth $199 million, and this took his holdings up to $650 million.

The Google CEO is not at all “nerdy” as his appearance might suggest! He is actually very grounded, helpful and friendly.