Like many Americans struggling just to stay afloat through stagnant wages in an uncertain economy, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced today that he’s doing what so many of us have: getting a second job.
As is the case for some many of us Pichai’s job titles are both “CEO,” and in taking on the role as head of Alphabet—Google’s parent company—he is arguably now his own boss, as well as his own direct report. As exiting heads and co-founders of the company, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wrote in a company blog today, “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet.”
At this time it is not clear if Sundar will collect a salary for both roles, though as CEO of Alphabet, he may feel the CEO of Google has earned a little extra. (Very little, perhaps; Page, who served as Alphabet CEO until today and is worth an estimated $US59 ($86) billion, makes $US1 ($1) a year in the role.) As the co-founders wrote:
Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost. While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!
With Google undergoing some very public labour unrest and tech as an industry maturing from pie-eyed evangelizing startups to a handful of mega-monopolies increasingly scrutinised by lawmakers and annoying journalists, it seems Brin and Page have—as with many people coasting into middle age—found a nice way of saying they’ve made their money, this whole thing is a headache, and lets just make it someone else’s problem already.
An internal memo sent this afternoon states that four Google staffers have been fired for “clear and repeated violations of our data security policies.”