I first heard about Sundar Pichai when he became Google CEO in 2015 and again when he appeared before Congress to testify about Google’s data breaches and alleged political bias.
However, I didn’t realize that he has been so instrumental in developing many of Google’s most important products. I use these services daily, such as Google Maps, Chrome, and Gmail, so I decided to dive into this Sundar Pichai’ bio to learn more about his Indian businessman and how he got to the top of Google.
Before I get into Sundar Pichai’s early life, business success, and notable failures, here are some quick facts about Google’s CEO.
Sundar Pichai Bio Facts
|Full Name: Pichai Sundararajan|
|BirthDate: 10 June 1972.|
|BirthPlace: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Partner / Spouse: Anjali Pichai|
|Net Worth: $1.3 billion|
|Social Media: Instagram, Twitter,|
|Companies Associated With: Google/Alphabet Inc.|
|Last Updated: 2022|
Sundar Pichai Bio Key Facts Summary
- He replaced Larry Page as CEO of Google in 2015.
- He has a current net worth of over $1 billion.
- Pichai has developed many of Google’s flagship products, including Google Maps, Chrome, Gmail, and Google Drive.
- He is originally from Madurai, India, and grew up in modest surroundings.
- Pichai studied in India before completing a master’s at Stanford and an MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
- He was awarded the third highest civilian award in India, the Padma Bhushan, in 2022.
- Pichai was subpoenaed to appear before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in 2020 alongside Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey.
- He lives in the affluent Los Altos Hills area of California with his wife and two children.
Sundar Pichai Birthplace and Early Life
Sundar Pichai was born in the city of Madurai, located in the Tamil Nadu region of southern India.
His father, Regunatha Pichai, worked as an electrical engineer, while his mother, Lakshmi, was a stenographer. I found this upbringing quite interesting because, unlike many other successful people working in the tech industry, Pichai didn’t necessarily grow up around a lot of technology.
I found out that the family didn’t own a TV and didn’t even have a household telephone until Pichai was 12 years old.
Pichai attended Jawahar Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School, Vana Vani school at IIT Madras, and received a degree in metallurgical engineering from IIT Kharagpur.
However, like many giants in the tech industry, Pichai did attend Stanford University. Vinod Khosla and Google co-founder Larry Page both attended Stanford, and Pichai attained a master’s degree in materials science and engineering before completing an MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Before I get onto Sundar Pichai’s business success at Google, it is clear that he placed a lot of value on education, and I think it was during this time that he really began to appreciate how technology can improve our lives.
Sundar Pichai Early Business Success
I found it interesting that Sundar Pichai project managed and steered many Google products I use daily. I never really knew the background of how things like Google Chrome, Drive, and Maps came about, so it was fascinating for me to discover that Pichai played a significant role in some of Google’s most well-known applications.
Pichai moved to Google in 2004 after working at Applied Materials and McKinsey & Company.
I think Pichai’s talent, knowledge, and innovative skills are major factors in his success at Google. He led the product development of some of the most well-known Google products, such as Google Chrome and Chrome OS, and also played a significant role in developing Google Maps and Gmail.
This period from 2004 – 2015 (when he became CEO which I will touch on later) was a hugely successful time for the company as they released many new applications that have become intrinsic in your lives. If you think about it, a lot of us use Google Maps regularly, check our email through Gmail, and more than likely use the Chrome browser. These were all products that Pichai helped to develop and oversee as part of Google’s business strategy, which undoubtedly led to his appointment as CEO in 2015.
Before this happened, Pichai played a big part in developing Android as he replaced the then-boss Andy Rubin. I think this was a massive vote of confidence in Sundar Pichai, as Rubin founded Android Inc in 2003, but it was Pichai that Google put their faith in to take the mobile OS to the next level.
An interesting piece of information I found was that Pichai was touted as a potential candidate to become Microsoft’s new CEO in 2014 before fellow Indian national Satya Nadella was appointed. Also, Twitter tried to poach him in 2011 to head its product development team.
Nevertheless, Pichai’s success in developing many of the most famous Google products led to be being appointed CEO in 2015 to replace Larry Page, who became the CEO of the new holding company, Alphabet Inc.
I think Pichai’s rise through the ranks at Google is quite an extraordinary one and clearly shows his talents. From joining in 2004 to developing recognizable apps such as Maps, Gmail, and Chrome, to being appointed CEO 11 years later is a fascinating story.
His rise at the tech giant is a remarkable feat for someone who didn’t live in a household with a telephone until he was 12 years old.
Sundar Pichai Videos
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet
A Day In The Life Of Sundar Pichai (Google’s CEO)
Sundar Pichai Business Failures
Even though Sundar Pichai has risen to the top of Google and been instrumental in developing many of its most successful apps and services, I think many failures must be highlighted.
One of the big issues surrounding Google as a tech company recently has been privacy. Under Pichai’s leadership, many privacy issues have arisen that have caused many problems for the company.
This has included a bug in the Google+ social network that exposed the personal details of 52 million people. This failure resulted in a class-action lawsuit, which they settled for $7.5 million. However, the claimants suing Google for the data breach received a measly $2.15 each, which I thought was a bit ridiculous for a major privacy breach.
The Google+ privacy bug hasn’t been the only failure during Pichai’s time as the head of Google.
Tackling inappropriate content on YouTube related to conspiracy theories and radicalization has caused significant problems for the company. Many people have criticized Google for not taking action sooner around these issues. Pichai has addressed this by stating that millions of YouTube accounts have been removed, but much work still needs to be done.
Another failure and ongoing issue that I think should be highlighted is Google’s battle with regulators. The European Union fined the company $5 billion due to misuse of the Android OS monopoly, and there have also been allegations of bias against conservative views on its search engine. This led to Pichai being questioned by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in 2018, and he was subpoenaed to attend the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in 2020 alongside Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey.
Finally, a major failure that I think is perhaps the most prominent is concerning a walkout by Google staff in 2018. This was a worldwide event, as over 20,000 Google employees walked out globally in response to allegations that the company shielded employees accused of sexual misconduct.
Sundar Pichai fired a staff member who wrote a manifesto of demands around diversity, and I think this was a big failure and a PR disaster on his part. While Pichai has tried to address some of these issues by making changes to the company’s sexual harassment and misconduct policies, it is an ongoing issue.
While it is clear that Pichai has had notable success during his time at Google, particularly in developing many of its flagship products, there are some obvious failures during his time as CEO.
Sundar Pichai Family
Pichai grew up in Madurai, in the Tamil Nadu region of southern India.
His father, Regunatha Pichai, worked as an electrical engineer at the British General Electric Company, and I found out that his father also owned a manufacturing plant. It produced various electrical components.
His mother, Lakshmi, worked as a stenographer. Sundar Pichai has a younger brother.
Sundar Pichai is married to Anjali, who trained as a chemical engineer, but currently works for a software company as a business operation manager. She grew up in Kota, which is in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, and the couple met while studying at IIT Kharagpur.
They have two children together, Kiran and Kavya.
Sundar Pichai Career Earnings
Sundar Pichai has a net worth of $1.3 billion, which has come from his time at Google.
I discovered that his annual salary is $2 million; however, he generally receives a lot more than this due to stock grants, which vary year to year.
I don’t think that Sundar Pichai has his own philanthropic organization like many billionaires. However, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, Pichai donated a significant amount of money to help and gave $1 million to GiveDirectly. This nonprofit organization helps those living in extreme poverty in East Africa.
Sundar Pichai Real Estate Holdings
I have a guilty pleasure in finding out what kind of homes the rich and famous live in – that’s why I’m a big fan of Josh Flagg – and I wasn’t surprised to find out that Sundar Pichai has a pretty cool house.
Pichai owns a home in Los Altos Hills, which is a wealthy town in Santa Clara County, California. I found out that the Los Altos Hills ZIP code is in the top five most affluent areas in the United States.
I’m not sure how much Pichai paid for the property (although I have seen reports that it is valued at around $9m), but it is a 4,429 square feet home with:
- Three bedrooms
- Five bathrooms
- Tennis court
Pichai and his family are currently renovating the property, which I’m sure will make it an even grander home to live in. It is a far cry from the more modest property he grew up in with his family in India.
Sundar Pichai Quotes
“A person who is happy is not happy because everything is right in his life, he is happy because his attitude towards everything in his life is right.”
“If you don’t fail sometimes, you are not being ambitious enough.”
“Our goal for the post-Covid world is to ensure the benefits of technology can be shared, as widely and equitably as possible. If we can do that, 2020 will be remembered not as the end of the world, but the beginning of a world that works better for everyone”
Frequently Asked Questions – Sundar Pichai Bio
Question: Is Sundar Pichai a billionaire?
Answer: Yes. Sundar Pichai has a current net worth of over $1 billion. This puts him in the exclusive billionaire category, and his wealth has come from his time at Google from joining in 2004 to rising to the position of CEO in 2015.
Question: What Google projects was Sundar Pichai involved in?
Answer: Sundar Pichai was involved in many of Google’s flagship projects, and he played a significant role in developing many of them. This includes Google Drive, Toolbar, Maps, Chrome, and Chrome OS, and he also played a role in developing Gmail.
Question: Where did Sundar Pichai study?
Answer: After completing high school, Sundar Pichai studied at IIT Madras and received a degree in metallurgical engineering from IIT Kharagpur. He further went on to complete a master’s at Stanford and an MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Question: Why did Sundar Pichai have to testify before Congress?
Answer: Sundar Pichai was called to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in 2018. This was due to alleged political bias in Google search and various issues around privacy. He was also subpoenaed before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in 2020 alongside the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook.
Question: Has Sundar Pichai worked anywhere else other than Google?
Answer: Sundar Pichai has built his career at Google. He joined in 2004 before working his way up to the position of CEO in 2015. Before joining Google, Pichai worked at Applied Materials and McKinsey & Company.
Question: Does Sundar Pichai care about privacy?
Answer: There have been several privacy issues surrounding Google during Sundar Pichai’s time as CEO, including a major Google+ privacy bug that resulted in a class action lawsuit. While the company has taken steps to protect users’ information, many issues still remain for the major tech giant to address privacy concerns.
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