Dec 4, 2019

Investors cheer Sundar Pichai as Alphabet's CEO

Data: Factset; Chart: Axios Visuals

The market responded positively in after-hours trading to the announcement that Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role as head of the core Google unit.

The state of play: Pichai will replace Larry Page, who, along with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, will remain "actively involved as shareholders and co-founders."

  • The stock rose by nearly 1% following the announcement, showing investors' confidence in the move.
  • Google shares have underperformed the overall Nasdaq index, year to date.

Between the lines: Page and Brin, who started Google in 1998, have been increasingly invisible in recent years, not even appearing at key Google events.

Go deeper: At Google, twilight of the founders

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Sundar Pichai named CEO of Alphabet, Google's parent company

Sundar Pichai. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Google's parent company, Alphabet, announced Tuesday that Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role as head of the core Google unit. Pichai will replace Larry Page, who, along with Sergey Brin, will remain "actively involved as shareholders and co-founders."

Why it matters: Page and Brin, who started Google in 1998, have been increasingly invisible in recent years, not even appearing at key Google events.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

At Google, twilight of the founders

Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 2002. Photo by Richard Koci Hernandez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Yesterday's announcement that Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were leaving their executive posts at Google's parent company Alphabet was a surprise only in timing. 

What's happening: Page had stepped back from Google itself in 2015. From their perches at Alphabet — Page as CEO, Brin as president — the two founders oversaw the company's "other bets" on advanced technologies like self-driving cars and drones. Googlers have said that they became less and less a presence inside the company. 

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019

The CEO's boss

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Justin Sullivan/Getty and Saul Loe/Getty

Being a CEO used to mean something very clear: You were the top dog, answerable only to the collective will of a board of directors. Today's CEOs, by contrast, are often deep down in the org chart, fireable by a boss who in turn is fireable by an even higher-up boss.

The big picture: Regional heads, heads of subsidiaries, heads of business lines — all of them now lay claim to the CEO title. Mark O’Donovan, for instance, is the CEO of Chase Auto, a subsidiary of Chase Manhattan Bank that is itself a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019