Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping back from Alphabet

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Stanford students who founded Google as a research project 21 years ago, are stepping back from their day-to-day roles at technology holding company Alphabet, bringing the curtain down on one of the most successful management double-acts in history. However, the duo, who between them control more than 51 per cent of the votes in Alphabet through a special class stock, will “continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders and members of Alphabet’s board of directors”…  The shake-up will see Sundar Pichai, who took over management of the Google internet business four years ago, also take on the chief executive position at Alphabet. As head of the search business, he already had authority over operations that accounted for more than 99 per cent of Alphabet’s revenues.  As head of Alphabet, Mr Pichai will also take over the running of the company’s “other bets” — a collection of “moonshot” technology projects that include the Waymo driverless car unit and Calico, a healthcare company set up to tackle illnesses that are the most common cause of death. The Google founders had already become a less visible presence around the company they founded, taking increasingly less active roles in the various businesses that operated under the Alphabet umbrella.

Richard Waters