How successful is Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai: The Google boss who grew up without a phone

Fundamental upheavals can usually hardly be kept secret in a company like Google. The internet giant managed the surprise anyway: With Alphabet, a new parent company was founded. 43-year-old Sundar Pichai is at the helm of the weaving business.

His career at the largest internet company was by no means mapped out. Growing up in Tamil Nadu in southern India, cars, televisions and telephones only found their way into his family's household late, as he said in an interview.

The trip to America cost an annual income

Pichai came to the USA in 1993 with a scholarship to the elite California University Stanford in his pocket. He had previously obtained a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology. His family only got the first phone when Pichai was twelve years old, and less than ten years later he was studying semiconductor physics in the USA. The trip to America should cost his family a whole year's income - the equivalent of $ 1,000.

Before joining Google, Pichai worked for the semiconductor company Applied Materials and the management consultant McKinsey. He joined the search engine giant on April 1, 2004 - the very day that Google had chosen to launch its Gmail email service. Like many others, Pichai thought it was an April Fool's joke.

Chrome and Android

Initially responsible as product manager for the Google Toolbar - a separate search window for browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox (no longer supported) - Pichai soon had the idea that Google should develop a browser itself. After initial resistance, he was able to convince then CEO Eric Schmidt.

Chrome was launched in 2008 and quickly gained market share. That gave Pichai the push towards the boardroom. In 2013 he was given responsibility for Android, the dominant smartphone system. In autumn 2014 he was appointed head of the entire online business, including Google's biggest money machine: online advertising. The competition has already shown interest in the Google manager. Microsoft reportedly had Pichai on the list as a candidate to succeed Steve Ballmer.

The father of two children is considered to be particularly sociable and diplomatic among his colleagues. A long-time colleague told Bloomberg in 2014 that it is difficult to find someone who doesn't like him or calls him an idiot. (Birgit Riegler, August 12, 2015)