Ten years after joining Google and with running Android, Chrome, and Google Apps already on his plate, Sundar Pichai's star has now risen even higher, gaining a new tranche of responsibilities in the process.
On Friday, Google CEO Larry Page sent out a memo, seen by Re/code, advising employees that in addition to his current jobs, Pichai will now have overall responsibility for search, research, maps, commerce, ads, infrastructure, and Google+ – not that the last one will take up too much of his time.
Page said that the move would free up his own time to focus on bigger-picture items, such as new products and corporate strategy, while Pichai concentrates on running the existing business units. But it's a huge step forward for Pichai's career and must surely put him in the running for the top job at Google, if and when Page decides to step down.
Pichai was born Pichai Sundararajan in the Indian city of Chennai (formerly Madras) in 1972 and earned a Bachelor's degree in Technology from IIT-Kharagpur in West Bengal, a Master's degree from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
After a brief spell at management consultants McKinsey & Company, Pichai held various positions at Applied Materials before joining Google in 2004 as a product manager. He originally focused on Google Apps but later took responsibility for Chrome and Chrome OS, too.
After Andy Rubin left the Android team in March of last year to concentrate on Google's robotics ambitions, Pichai also added the mobile OS to his responsibilities, and has been the public face of the division ever since.
He was rumored to be in the running for the top job at Microsoft when Steve Ballmer decided to step down. It's also said that Twitter came sniffing around him in 2011, but that he stayed with Google after receiving a multi-million dollar loyalty incentive from the bosses at Mountain View. Now looks like he'll be around a while longer. ®