It was Sundar Pichai who created a splash on the global tech map when Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided in 2019 that Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President, and going forward, Pichai will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet.
With Microsoft now electing CEO Satya Nadella as also the Chairman — a first in two decades after the legendary Bill Gates, who has now retired from both the positions — the Pichai-Nadella duo is now the flag bearer of a talent powerhouse, as new faces join the high-profile league of businesses led by Indian-origin tech honchos.
“I first met Larry and Sergey back in 2004 and have been benefiting from their guidance and insights ever since. The good news is I’ll continue to work with them — although in different roles for them and me. They’ll still be around to advise as board members and co-founders,” Pichai wrote in 2019.
Pichai had said that this transition won’t affect the Alphabet structure or the work.
“I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone. At the same time, I’m excited about Alphabet and its long-term focus on tackling big challenges through technology,” he had emphasised.
Born in Madras (now Chennai), Pichai earned his degree from IIT Kharagpur in metallurgical engineering. After an illustrious career, Pichai became the CEO of Google on August 10, 2015.
Nadella was born in Hyderabad (present-day Telangana) and earned bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka.
“I always knew I wanted to build things,” he once said.
On February 4, 2014, he was announced as the new CEO of Microsoft, the third CEO in the company’s history following Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
As Microsoft Chairman, Nadella will lead the work to set the agenda for the board, leveraging his deep understanding of the business to elevate the right strategic opportunities and identify the key risks and mitigation approaches for the board’s review.
Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has become one of the most valuable companies in the world, riding on its growing Azure Cloud, Microsoft 365 and enterprise communication businesses (including Teams).
Microsoft reported a strong growth of US$41.7 billion in sales (up 19 per cent year-over-year) and US$15.5 billion in net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.
The biggest growth engine was its Azure Cloud division that saw US$15.1 billion in revenue, a 23 per cent year-over-year increase.
“Over a year into the pandemic, digital adoption curves aren’t slowing down. They’re accelerating, and it’s just the beginning. We are building the cloud for the next decade, expanding our addressable market and innovating across every layer of the tech stack to help our customers be resilient and transform,” Nadella had said.
Driven by online work and learning amid the ongoing pandemic, Microsoft Teams now have 145 million daily active users globally, almost double the numbers a year ago.