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Sundar Pichai

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Sundar Pichai
Sundar pichai.png
Pichai in 2020
Born
Pichai Sundararajan

(1972-06-10) June 10, 1972 (age 49)
CitizenshipUnited States[1]
EducationIIT Kharagpur (BTech)
Stanford University (MS)
University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
TitleCEO of Alphabet and Google
Board member of
Spouse(s)Anjali Pichai
Children2
Signature
Sundarpichaisignature.svg

Pichai Sundararajan (born June 10, 1972[4][5][1]), better known as Sundar Pichai (/ˈsʊndɑːr pɪˈ/), is an Indian-American business executive.[6] He is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google.

Born in Madras, India,[4] Pichai earned his degree from IIT Kharagpur in metallurgical engineering. Moving to the United States, he attained an M.S. from Stanford University in materials science and engineering and further attained an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar, respectively.[7]

Pichai began his career as a materials engineer. Following a short stint at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., Pichai joined Google in 2004,[8] where he led the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google's client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS, as well as being largely responsible for Google Drive. In addition, he went on to oversee the development of other applications such as Gmail and Google Maps. In 2010, Pichai also announced the open-sourcing of the new video codec VP8 by Google and introduced the new video format, WebM. The Chromebook was released in 2012. In 2013, Pichai added Android to the list of Google products that he oversaw.

Pichai was selected to become the next CEO of Google on August 10, 2015, after previously being appointed Product Chief by CEO, Larry Page. On October 24, 2015, he stepped into the new position at the completion of the formation of Alphabet Inc., the new holding company for the Google company family. He was appointed to the Alphabet Board of Directors in 2017.[9]

Pichai was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2016[10] and 2020.[11]

Early life and education

Pichai was born in Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India.[12][13][14] His mother, Lakshmi, was a stenographer, and his father, Regunatha Pichai, was an electrical engineer at GEC, the British conglomerate. His father also had a manufacturing plant that produced electrical components.[15][16] Pichai grew up in a two-room apartment in Ashok Nagar, Chennai and had a Hindu upbringing.[15]

Pichai completed schooling in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, a Central Board of Secondary Education school in Ashok Nagar, Chennai and completed the Class XII from Vana Vani school at IIT Madras.[17][18] He earned his degree from IIT Kharagpur in metallurgical engineering and is a distinguished alumnus from that institution.[19] He holds an M.S. from Stanford University in materials science and engineering, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania,[20] where he was named a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar, respectively.[1][21][22]

Career

Pichai speaking at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain

Pichai worked in engineering and product management at Applied Materials and in management consulting at McKinsey & Company.[23] Pichai joined Google in 2004, where he led the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google's client software products, including Google Chrome[24] and Chrome OS, as well as being largely responsible for Google Drive. He went on to oversee the development of other applications such as Gmail and Google Maps.[25][26] On November 19, 2009, Pichai gave a demonstration of Chrome OS; the Chromebook was released for trial and testing in 2011, and released to the public in 2012.[27] On May 20, 2010, he announced the open-sourcing of the new video codec VP8 by Google and introduced the new video format, WebM.[28]

On March 13, 2013, Pichai added Android to the list of Google products that he oversaw. Android was formerly managed by Andy Rubin.[29] He was a director of Jive Software from April 2011 to July 30, 2013.[30][31][32] Pichai was selected to become the next CEO of Google on August 10, 2015[33] after previously being appointed Product Chief by CEO, Larry Page. On October 24, 2015 he stepped into the new position at the completion of the formation of Alphabet Inc., the new holding company for the Google company family.[34][32][35]

Pichai had been suggested as a contender for Microsoft's CEO in 2014, a position that was eventually given to Satya Nadella.[36][37]

In August 2017, Pichai drew publicity for firing a Google employee who wrote a ten-page manifesto criticizing the company's diversity policies and arguing that "distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and ... these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership".[38][39][40][41] While noting that the manifesto raised a number of issues that are open to debate, Pichai said in a memo to Google employees that "to suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK".[42]

In December 2017, Pichai was a speaker at the World Internet Conference in China, where he stated that "a lot of work Google does is to help Chinese companies. There are many small and medium-sized businesses in China who take advantage of Google to get their products to many other countries outside of China."[43][44]

In December 2019, Pichai became the CEO of Alphabet Inc.[45][46]

Pichai delivers a speech virtually at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2020.

In December 2020, Pichai delivered a speech virtually at the Singapore FinTech Festival emphasizing inclusive digital economy.[47]

The coronavirus outbreak has sped up the adoption of digital tools and trends by years........Southeast Asia's Internet economy is currently on the verge of a massive transformation......more than 40 million people in the region connected to the Internet for the first time in 2020 - four times as many as the year before......while Covid has accelerated the use of digital tools, it's also exposed how many people are still left behind......some 1.7 billion people around the world are still unbanked, a huge portion of African households do not have access to broadband and millions of women entrepreneurs lack the same access to opportunity as their male counterparts.[48]
  • Pichai said at the conclusion of his speech,
Our goal for the post-Covid world is to ensure the benefits of technology can be shared, as widely and equitably as possible. If we can do that, 2020 will be remembered not as the end of the world, but the beginning of a world that works better for everyone.[49]

U.S. Congressional testimony

On December 11, 2018, Sundar Pichai was questioned by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on a range of Google-related issues such as possible political bias on Google's platforms, the company's alleged plans for a "censored search app" in China, and its privacy practices.[50] In response, Pichai informed the committee that Google employees cannot influence search results. He also stated that Google users can opt out of having their data collected and that "there are no current plans for a censored search engine" in China.[51] Wired's Issie Lapowsky characterized Pichai's appearance before the committee as a "major missed opportunity," since, as she wrote, its members "staked out opposite sides of a partisan battle".[52][better source needed]

In October 2020, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation unanimously voted in favor of, and on a bipartisan basis, to subpoena Pichai, along with the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter, to testify before the committee in response to lawmakers' concerns over the technology industry's exemption from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1934.[53]

Personal life

Pichai is married to Anjali Pichai and has two children.[54] His recreational interests include cricket and football.[55][56]

References

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External links

Business positions
Preceded by
Larry Page
CEO of Google
2015–present
Incumbent