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Google CEO Sundar Pichai wanted to grow up to be a cricketer!
Google's new CEO Sundar Pichai recently took up the top job in August last year, and he has the populist vote from most Google employees.
Mat Honan, Buzzfeed Tech Reporter, recently wrote this full piece about Sundar Pichai's journey from Chennai to Google and included almost all of the aspects of his life that made the journey possible.
Here is a summary-esque overview of the top 10 features that we gathered, which make Sundar Pichai head the world's second most valuable company - Google.
He studied engineering at IIT Kharagpur, did an MS at Stanford University and an MBA from Wharton Business School. Incidentally, he met his current wife, Anjali Pichai, at IIT-KGP. Both of them now stay together - along with two kids - at their Los Altos house in California.
This house in Los Altos, California is quite the modest mansion for an executive who took home a $200 million pay package last year. It is a 5-bedroom house with facilities like a tennis court and an indoor miniature football field, for his kids.
His first assignment at Google showed signs of his charismatic leadership. He was given charge of developing a minor web browser extension - Google Toolbar. After completion, he convinced his boss, Eric Shmidt to build the hugely successful Chrome browser. The success led to the creation of Chrome OS as well.
An interesting story from his childhood is that he wanted to grow up to be a cricketer, as is the case with most Indians. His recent trip to India also saw him reliving his childhood by playing with some kids for a brief period. Who knew that he was destined to be the maverick computer scientist that he now is.
Shortly after being given charge of Chrome and later Android, Sundar Pichai was seen heading all the products that Google put out, in 2014. His vision also led to the creation of the super affordable Google Cardboard VR. He had intimated Google's VR head Clay Bavor to start working on the project, aiming at a cost-effective alternative to the Oculus. His plan was successful and the product was distributed to all attendees at Google I/O, leading to widespread popularity.
Before Sundar Pichai joined the team, the Android department at Google was seen as a rogue and conservative unit among all the different sectors. Taking over from Andy Rubin, Sundar Pichai managed to change the image and the current executives also admit that he was the one who brought it back into the free-flowing ecosystem of Google as a whole.
Pichai is and has always remained a true science geek by heart. Last month, a big breakthrough in the field of physics took place when gravitational waves were discovered. His enthusiasm was quite evident with this tweet, "A thousand people who worked on it! It's a remarkable, mind-blowing thing, because Einstein wrote about this more than a hundred years ago - and it was all in his mind. One man, solo, doing that! I've been geeking out all morning on this trying to understand it."
An interesting excerpt from the long interview is about his recent visit to CES 2016. With a very common face among the attendees, Sundar Pichai walked across all the halls of the exposition and went almost unnoticed. Despite his stature and the position he holds, he is yet to be recognized by people in the tech world with just 7 months under his belt as the boss.
In the interview, Pichai talked about how his family was affected during the recent Chennai floods. His grandmother had been stuck in a building for more than 4 days without any water, food or connectivity. His cousins were dependent on rainwater for survival and had to relocate to the second floor for safety.
For Pichai, the wonders of technology were first revealed to him when the family bought their first telephone. Pichai was just 12 years old and the rotary keys helped him realize his talent for numerical fascination. He could remember every number he dialed, but did not know at the time, how useful this skill would be in the future.