An April Fools' Day Interview Landed Sundar Pichai The Job At Google
From Cricket To The Corner Office
The Chennai-born CEO, often considered among the Valley's best bosses, even failed to make the top ten on Forbes reputable CEO list - where he had managed to shine in 2018.
But despite the turbulence, Pichai still remains among India's favourite techies - as was evident with the buzz he created when he recently hung out with Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar at the India-England World Cup match. Whether it was his attire that Twitter-happy Indians related to as 'down-to-earth', or him quoting MS Dhoni in reply to Tendulkar's tweet - Pichai won hearts on the microblogging platform.
Now hanging out with the God of cricket, decades ago a younger-Pichai used to idolise the legend.
A self-proclaimed cricket-buff, the IITian (he graduated with a B.E degree with honours in metallurgical engineering from IIT-Kharagpur in 1993), who counts Sunil Gavaskar and Tendulkar among his favourite players, even dreamed of playing the game professionally while growing up.
Back To Basics
But despite the humble beginnings, a keen interest in technology - derived partly from his engineer father Regunatha Pichai - was to steer Pichai’s life in an entirely different direction. His stellar performance at IIT won him a scholarship to Stanford, from where he earned an MS degree in engineering & materials science - and went on to work with Silicon Valley-based semiconductor maker Applied Materials. The first time Pichai boarded a flight was to go to Stanford.
After his stint there, Pichai returned to college, getting an MBA degree from Wharton, before landing a job at consulting firm McKinsey & Company in 2002.
Google All The Way
From there, Pichai continued to rise up the ranks, and is now often referred to as Google co-founder Larry Page's interpreter, helping translate his vision to the company.
Through the years, the demand for Pichai grew not just at Google but in the tech world. In 2011, Pichai was approached by Twitter, but was reportedly given a big raise by Google to stay. Four years later, fresh rumours hinted at Twitter once again wanting Pichai as CEO, but that wasn't on the cards either.
Not just Twitter, Pichai also almost became the third CEO of Microsoft before the job went to fellow Indian Satya Nadella.
And eventually on August 10, 2015, Pichai was named Google CEO.
As of last year, the tech giant spent over $1.2 million on Pichai's security, as compared to roughly $680,000 in 2017.
Out Of Office
While work forms a major part of Pichai's life, he had, in 2015, said that he would be home in time to put his kids to bed every night. Emphasising on the need to live life to the fullest, he once told a group of Indian students to make time for fun and 'loosen up'.
The Bollywood Connect
While Pichai is a name known around the world, the tech boss had once joked that people starting recognising him after his interview with King Khan.
Three years on, the two personalities came together once again, this time for SRK's TED Talks India 'Nayi Soch' show. The Google boss made an appearance on the show via video call. The two seem to be part of a mutual admiration society, with Pichai having said that while Khan's job is really cool, 'but he's cooler', and the actor calling the 'funny, innovator bossman' among his 'favouritest'(sic) people in the world.
When it comes to B-town's leading ladies, Pichai during the 2017 visit to his alma mater in Kharagpur, had said Deepika Padukone was his favourite.
But the Bollywood connection doesn't end there; last year Pichai received a visit from another B-town star, this time it was Priyanka Chopra who along with her manager Anjula Acharia made their way to the tech giant's headquarters in Mountain View.