Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, grew up in Chennai, India, without even getting access to a phone, let alone a computer or the internet. However, it was his childhood that showed him how powerful technology could be.
The Pichai family had to wait five years to get a phone. Neighbors would come over and make phone calls when they did.
Pichai didn’t have a dedicated computer until he came to the United States and received a Stanford University scholarship. The whole, indeed, was history.
He earned a master’s degree in engineering from Stanford and later earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Until joining Google in 2004, Pichai worked at Applied Materials and McKinsey. He held a range of jobs at Google, including managing Chrome, product chief, and head of the Android operating system. In 2015, he was appointed CEO.
Pichai said he also thinks America is a “land of opportunity.” when asked if he believes the American dream is alive.
Providing immigrants with a road to success is a large part of that. Pichai has pushed for high-skilled immigrants and called on Congress to protect Dreamers.
Pichai described his selection as Google’s CEO as an “opportunity of a lifetime,” But it wasn’t something he expressly demanded. He expressed surprise when asked about it by Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Pichai has faced various severe challenges in his position, including user privacy problems, gender and diversity problems at the company, and employee walkouts. He’s also questioned on Capitol Hill regarding privacy, and his business may be the subject of a US antitrust investigation.
As people’s concerns about data protection grow, Pichai says Google is looking at ways to make it easy for users to limit their data and have more control over their data. For example, the company recently revealed that users would have their position history and web surfing activities deleted automatically.
The most critical thing Pichai has learned at Google, he added, is to listen to other people’s viewpoints.