Sundar Pichai's 7 Key Steps To The Top of Google

11/08/2015 11:11 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, speaks during the Google I/O 2015 keynote presentation in San Francisco, Thursday, May 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

We all saw this coming.

The big news from Google today is that it has named Indian born Sundar Pichai, 43, as the chief executive officer of the Internet titan as part of the new corporate structure at Alphabet, Google's new umbrella company.

A major shake-up at Google last year had put Pichai at the fore-front and in-charge of all products, except YouTube, which was headed by CEO Susan Wojcicki.

READ: India-Born Sundar Pichai Is Google's New CEO

This is how Pichai rose up the GooglePlex.

1. Over 10 years ago, Pichai started at Google as a product manager. Then a low-key manager, he worked on the Google toolbar- when it used to be an obscure search bar on the top right of Web browsers.

2. Prior to launching Chrome, Pichai worked on various search products, including Google Toolbar, Desktop Search, Gadgets and Google Gears and Gadgets. It was from 2008 that people started seeing more of Pichai at Google presentations and he soon became a known Google face.

3. In 2011, he took over Gmail and Google Docs. By 2012, Pichai was the Senior VP of Chrome and apps.

4. A year later, CEO Larry Page put him in charge of Android, "making him one of the most powerful technology executives in the world." However it was only in 2013 that Pichai became a well known figure after stepping into the shoes of Andy Rubin, who led much of Android's early development.

Pichai joined Google in the same year that Rubin brought Android to Google via an acquisition and though it was, in a sense, Rubin's baby Larry Page soon felt that Pichai would be the right man to nurture its growth.

5.Managing Android wasn't an easy job and nobody let Pichai forget that.

When Apple CEO Tim Cook called Android a “toxic hellstew” of security vulnerabilities and fragmentation, Pichai had a calm defence. according to Bloomberg:

“It must be liberating [for Apple] to wake up and think about your device, your software—and hey, ‘I can even call the chip-set guys and say what the chip should be. I have to think about building a platform and bringing as many people along on this journey and getting it right. I believe that ultimately, it’s a more powerful approach, but it’s a lot more stressful as well.”

6. Pichai is believed to be the man responsible for maintaining smooth ties with partners like Samsung. He recently also launched the Android One initiative in India by teaming up with local manufacturers such as Micromax, Spice and Karbonn.

7. Last spring, on Quora, former Google product manager, Chris Beckmann, noted three things that distinguished Pichai. Among them was, "He (Pichai) avoided making enemies. Google has politics like any other large company and Sundar navigated those politics to make his team successful while inflicting the least possible damage on any other team."

Pichai is known for his 'diplomatic skills.' “I would challenge you to find anyone at Google who doesn’t like Sundar or who thinks Sundar is a jerk,” Caesar Sengupta, a vice president at Google once said.

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