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Larry Page steps down as CEO of Google parent Alphabet; Sundar Pichai will be CEO of both companies

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 2 days ago Jessica Guynn
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 It's the end of an era: Larry Page is stepping down as head of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of both, the internet giant said in a surprise announcement Tuesday. 

Larry Page wearing a suit and tie: Alphabet CEO Larry Page speaks at a news conference at the Google offices in New York on May 21, 2012. © File photo by Seth Wenig, AP Alphabet CEO Larry Page speaks at a news conference at the Google offices in New York on May 21, 2012.

Google co-founders Page and Sergey Brin will continue as co-founders, shareholders and members of Alphabet’s board of directors, the company said.

The news about one of the world's most powerful technology companies comes as Google has been rocked by criticism from Washington lawmakers and President Trump, internal scandals and unrest within its own ranks.

Saying it's a "natural time to simplify our management structure," Page and Brin said Google and its parent company no longer need "two CEOs and a president."

“We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company," they wrote in a letter announcing their decision.

Pichai, who joined Google in 2004, became CEO of Google in 2015 when Google created a new publicly traded company called Alphabet to house all of its disparate businesses at a time when investors were rattled by Google's spending on its "moonshots," experimental projects such as driverless cars and delivering Internet access from high-altitude balloons

Alphabet shares closed at $1,294.74 (AUD$1891) Tuesday and rose less than 1% in after-hours trading after the news broke. The stock is up about 24% this year.


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