Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepping down from top roles

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai will become chief executive of both Google and Alphabet.

Before today, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were CEO and President of Alphabet - now that job goes to the CEO of Google.

Alphabet was formed in 2015, giving a separate identity to the original company Google and other units such as autonomous auto unit Waymo and smart cities group Sidewalk Labs.

In a blog post, Page and Brin reflected on the dramatic evolution of Google since it was founded in 1998. For more, check out the official statements from Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Sundar Pichai, plus Alphabet's official press release at the sources below.

Mr Brin and Mr Page met as Stanford University graduate students in 1995 and started the company soon after. We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. Page had wanted to focus on those newer businesses while leaving operational decisions at Alphabet's biggest unit, Google, to Pichai. They also maintain voting control over the business, all but guaranteeing their ability to influence the direction of Alphabet with or without their executive titles.

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Alphabet has been positioning Mr Pichai as the de facto leader for quite some time. It also faces allegations that it abuses its dominance in search and online advertising to push out rivals.

Google has almost doubled its headcount since Mr Pichai took over as chief executive, growing from a company of 59,000 employees to 114,000 now.

The 47-year-old was born in India, where he studied engineering.

The change is effective immediately and Alphabet's share price has nudged up by less than one per cent in after-hours trading on the news. There's no indication that any of this is connected to Page and Brin stepping aside.

The geeky impulses carried into his adulthood, leading him to once build an inkjet printer out of Legos.

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