Sundar Pichai has given the people of Tamil Nadu a reason to rejoice.
Ever since, he has been named the new CEO of Google, everyone in Tamil Nadu is busy talking about Pichai, who was born and raised in ‘Namma Chennai’.
Last year, there was a similar kind of excitement in Andhra Pradesh too, when their ‘home boy’ Satya Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft.
In Tamil Nadu, suddenly every conversation starts with a mention of Namma Sundar, and by asking everyone to be proud of being a Tamilian, of being an Indian etc. As one actor-turned-politician, who is not in Tamil Nadu, put it eloquently, “Namma aalu Sundar Pichai is in-charge of Google, that is the reason behind all the TVs and GVs that everyone is using now”. It is not just politicians. Two schools in Chennai have been waging Wiki battles to claim Sundar is a product of their school.
For those observing Silicon Valley for a while, the promotion of Pichai as the CEO is not a surprise. After all, the man has been running the company for the past few years, while the designated CEO, Larry Page, was dreaming about his moonshot projects.
So the question on everybody's mind was how long can Google retain Pichai without giving him the designation? And what would Page do if he was to give away that title. Now we have the answer— Alphabet.
As Page explained in a long blog post, Google is now part of a new parent company called Alphabet. The new company will also have a number of new companies under it. Two examples that Page mentioned are Calico, a company which wants to make us live forever, and Life Sciences, which makes glucose-sensing contact lenses. While Google will remain the cash cow and will have all the lucrative businesses under it, it is easy to imagine that other parts of the business like Nest will become their own companies.
This solves a lot of problems for Google. For one, it fulfils Page’s dream of be-coming the next Warren Buffet with a vast conglomerate under him.
And it allows the company to give all the talented people in the Google empire like Sundar proper designations so they can keep them around for long. Importantly, it divorces the Google brand from the all the crazy, geeky, moonshot ideas that Page comes up with.
It has been evident for a while that Page is bored of doing something as mundane as running a search engine company. Now, he will be free to indulge in all his dreams of changing the world. And, Google will get the adult supervision that the company desperately needed and deserved.
Matham is a tech geek. Follow him on Twitter @AdarshMatham