Restructuring Sees Wharton MBA Take Charge of Google |

Restructuring Sees Wharton MBA Take Charge of Google

By Tim Dhoul

Updated August 15, 2016 Updated August 15, 2016

A Wharton MBA graduate, Sundar Pichai, is the new Google CEO, after the company announced a reshuffle and the launch of a new parent company on Monday, August 10.

Google has been leveled with accusations of monopolistic behavior recently and this was alluded to in the announcement made by Larry Page on Google’s blog, when he explained that his decision to set up a new parent company, Alphabet Inc., as a replacement for Google Inc. would allow the company to be “cleaner and more accountable”.

Page himself will act as CEO of Alphabet, leaving a vacancy for Google CEO – the largest part of what he described as a “collection of companies”, albeit one that will be slimmed down from its current incarnation.

Step forward Sundar Pichai, who - like Larry Page - studied a master’s degree at Stanford University, but, unlike Page, also holds a Wharton MBA. Pichai, 43, has been with Google for just over a decade and has become something of favorite with Page in this time through his work in areas such as Google Chrome and Android, rising to his most recent position of senior vice president of product in the process.  

Sundar Pichai to oversee core businesses as Google CEO

Now appointed Google CEO, the Wharton MBA will take on responsibility for developing its brand and overseeing many of its core businesses, including the infamous search engine and advertising interests as well as YouTube and Android.

“I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he [Sundar Pichai] is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations…I know Sundar will always be focused on innovation - continuing to stretch boundaries,” wrote Page, who added that it was not his intention to build a brand around Alphabet and that each of its wholly-owned subsidiaries would remain independent. Examples of those companies not falling under the Wharton MBA’s remit include its venture capital arm, Google Ventures, and its automated household products acquisition of last year, Nest Labs.   

Even so, there are many who now view Pichai as the most obvious successor to Page, in the event that Google’s cofounder looks at downshifting his activities. Pichai is said to have great interpersonal skills and a refreshing lack of ego, making his promotion to Google CEO likely to be a popular decision within the company. Indeed, there have been suggestions that his rise is also intended to ward off any headhunters interested in luring Pichai away from Google.

Having said that, Sundar Pichai – who hails from Chennai (formerly known as Madras) – is now CEO of a company that is often first on the wish lists of prospective MBA students. Google came top in a Universum list of employers based on the preferences of business undergraduates in the US. It is also a company that increasingly looks to MBA graduates in its recruitment strategy and features among the top recruiter lists by volume of recent MBAs hired from individual schools in both the US and Europe. Indeed, Google features on a list of employers who hired at least two MBAs from the class of 2014 at Pichai’s alma mater and it’ll be interesting to see whether his appointment to CEO has any impact on Google’s relationship with the school and its students in the near future.

This article was originally published in August 2015 . It was last updated in August 2016

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