The CEO of Google Inc., Sundar Pichai, has been inducted into the Board of Directors of parent company Alphabet Inc. Google’s founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page, announced:
“Sundar has been doing a great job as Google’s CEO, driving strong growth, partnerships, and tremendous product innovation. I really enjoy working with him and I’m excited that he is joining the Alphabet board.”
Pichai has been with Google since 2004 and was promoted to CEO in 2015. During that time, he has been responsible for overseeing several key products such as Google Chrome, Chrome OS, Gmail and Google Maps. After the exit of Android’s creator Andy Rubin, it was Pichai who oversaw the development of the mobile OS.
Prior to his elevation to the post of CEO, Pichai was Product Chief at Google. Incidentally, Pichai was also a contender for the position of CEO at Microsoft Corporation, a job that subsequently went to longtime Microsoft employee Satya Nadella.
The appointment of Sundar Pichai to Alphabet’s board is representative of the growing need to have domain expertise on the board of large companies. Technology companies are driven by product innovation, and deep product expertise at the board level is one way to ensure alignment between the company’s various initiatives and the group that controls its direction.
As a member of the board and a former product expert, Sundar Pichai brings immense value to the team that decides Alphabet’s future. But it also means additional responsibilities with the new role.
On the one hand, the CEO is accountable to the Board of Directors; on the other, he or she must be able to act independently on strategic and tactical matters. It’s not easy wearing these two hats, but Alphabet’s board obviously feels that Sundar Pichai is well suited to handle it.