Bangalore: On September 3 2008, Google assembled a large cast of characters to unveil its new browser, Chrome. Among the some of the engineers and executives who took the stage at the company's Mountain View, California, headquarters was Sundar Pichai. "Our intent here is to drive the Web platform forward," he said. Google had one Indian American brain child to thank for making it possible.
"We realised that we needed to completely rethink the browser. The Web gets better with more options and innovation Google Chrome is another option, and we hope it contributes to making the Web even better," Google's Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.
Sundar Pichai, a technology whiz-kid and an IIT-ian, was responsible for the development of the Google browser as the company's Vice President of product development. During the reshuffling of Google's top management this year, Sundar Pichai was made the Senior Vice President of Google.
Pichai was born in 1967, Tamil Naidu, India. He went on to do his B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Kharagpur and was awarded an Institute Silver Medal. He holds an M.S. from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School, where he was named a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar.
Sundar Pichai is married and has a daughter. He is also an avid chess player.
His career kicked off with various engineering and product management positions at Applied Materials, and was also a management consultant with McKinsey & Company for a variety of software and semiconductor clients.
Pichai joined Google in 2004 where he was currently responsible for overall desktop strategy and ensuring access to Google services for desktop users. He leads the innovation team which focuses completely on Google's search products, including Google Toolbar, Chrome, Desktop Search, Gadgets, Google Pack, Google Gears, Firefox extensions and Mac products. He has more than 15 years of experience developing high-tech consumer and enterprise products. He serves as a Member of Board of Advisors at Ruba, Inc. He has been a Director of Jive Software, since April 2011.
Many companies have tried to woo the brain child and entice Sundar Pichai. Twitter was the one of them which aggressively courted Pichai to join them. After Jason Goldman, VP of Product for Twitter left back in December, so they need someone to manage stuff. Sundar Pichai, was the top pick by Twitter. Google lately had to take extreme measures to keep employees from jumping ship to competitors, primarily Facebook. In such a situation losing Pichai could have been a big blow to Google. Losing Pichai would carry the risk of leaving the computer OS directionless until a suitable replacement arrived.
Google eventually awarded Sundar Pichai $50 million, respectively, to keep him from leaving Google to work for Twitter according to TechCrunch. The quaetion then boils down to, was it really worth it? Or rather how really Chrome important to Google?
Sunadar Pichai said in a Press release "Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google."
"We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear that computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet."