Why Nvidia Aids Cloud Rivals of AWS, Google and MicrosoftRead more

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo via Getty
April 26, 2023 6:00 AM PDT

Since Sundar Pichai became CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in 2019, he has been honest with colleagues about the difficulties of overseeing a sprawling conglomerate that’s under constant strain from internal power struggles, regulators and rebellious employees. In one example of that candor, he said in an internal meeting several years ago that the job had taken its toll and he envisioned passing the baton in a few years, according to a person who was present.

The baton still rests with the 50-year-old Pichai. He shared those feelings prior to the emergence of the panic that has gripped Google in recent months, prompting him to become even more engaged. As advertisers cut spending last fall, causing Google’s business to stagnate, rivals Microsoft and OpenAI launched a new generation of artificial intelligence services that could threaten Google’s dominance in search and the more than $150 billion a year in advertising sales attached to it. Google suddenly is playing from behind in a field it has previously dominated.

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