Google's surprise restructuring announcement has resulted in Chennai-born Sundar Pichai being catapulted into the role of chief executive at the internet search giant.

Larry Page, who he will replace, said of him: "It is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google. I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google.

"I know he deeply cares that we can continue to make big strides on our core mission to organise the world's information."

IBTimes UK takes a look at Pichai's rise from modest beginnings to head of one of the world's biggest companies.

Early promise

Pichai was born in 1972 in the Indian city of Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, and had a humble upbringing.

According to Bloomberg magazine, the Pichai family lived in a two-bedroom flat, didn't have a TV or car and Pichai slept on the floor with his younger brother.

An avid cricketer, he captained his school team, leading it to victory in a regional state tournament.

But it was inside the classroom where he excelled.

Pichai graduated in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, after which he obtained a master's from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


After stints at Applied Materials and McKinsey & Company, he joined Google in 2004.

He oversaw some of Google's most important products, including the hugely successful web browser Chrome.

Rising quickly through the ranks, he became vice president and then senior vice president with oversight over all Google apps. Finally, he was given responsibility of the Android mobile operating system.

Co-founders Page and Sergey Brin were impressed by what they saw and by 2014 he was promoted to product chief.

His appointment as chief executive means he now heads a company pulling in $66bn (£42bn) in revenue and making $16bn profit.


As well as being congratulated by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Pichai has been lauded by some of the tech industry's biggest hitters.

Eric Schmidt, now executive chairman of Alphabet, tweeted: "Really excited about the vision and brilliance of Sundar .. he's going to be a great CEO!"

Caesar Sengupta, a Google vice-president who has worked closely with Pichai, told Bloomberg last year: "I would challenge you to find anyone at Google who doesn't like Sundar or who thinks Sundar is a jerk."