- Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down from their day-to-day management roles, they announced on Tuesday.
- Sundar Pichai will take over as Alphabet CEO, while maintaining his current role as Google CEO.
- Despite the change, Page and Brin remain firmly in control of Alphabet, as their combined voting power gives them a majority stake in the company.
Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down from their management roles — but they won’t lose control of the company.
Google-parent Alphabet announced in a letter to shareholders on Tuesday that Page and Brin would leave their respective roles as CEO and president of the company. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, is taking over the CEO role of the parent company, Alphabet, while maintaining his role as Google CEO.
Despite the change, however, Page and Brin will remain firmly in control of Alphabet.
According to company filings, Page and Brin each own 25.9% and 25.1% of Alphabet’s voting power, respectively, accounting for over half of the company’s controlling shares. That’s because of Alphabet’s super-voting structure, which gives 10 votes per share of its Class B stock. Google confirmed to CNBC on Tuesday that the company’s voting structure was not going to change as part of the leadership change.
Page and Brin, who cofounded Google in 1998, will also remain on Alphabet’s board, according to Tuesday’s announcement.
“With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure,” Page and Brin said in the announcement. “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President.”
Although Page and Brin remain in control of Alphabet, it’s unclear how involved they’ll be, as both of them have been noticeably missing from the company’s public events in recent years. In the announcement, however, they said they’ll “remain actively involved as board members, shareholders and co-founders” of the comapny.
“In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!” they said in the announcement.
Page was named Alphabet’s CEO in 2015, when Google reorganized to launch its parent company Alphabet. Pichai, who joined Google in 2004, was promoted to Google CEO at the same time, establishing himself as one of the most powerful leaders in Silicon Valley.
“I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Larry and Sergey in our new roles,” Pichai said in a statement.