No two tech executives are quite as enigmatic and private as Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The two men, who started Google more than 20 years ago while computer science graduate students at Stanford University, have hardly been seen or heard from in the last half-decade or so, since restructuring the company to create Google parent Alphabet and leaving Sundar Pichai in charge of a newly streamlined Google.
Yet on Tuesday afternoon, Page and Brin dropped a bombshell announcement: they’re relinquishing control of Alphabet to current Google CEO Sundar Pichai as well, and effectively stepping away from management for good. The news, while it sounded like a big development, felt inevitable. Page and Brin haven’t been deeply involved in the day-to-day operations of the company for some time it seems, and the announcement was making it official. It’s the Sundar Pichai show now, from top to bottom. (Page and Brin will retain their controlling shares and seats on the board, and both plan to keep in regular communication with Pichai.)