Down – but not out

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA, Today: Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have announced that they were leaving their respective roles at Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Google ceo Sundar Pichai will become ceo of Alphabet, succeeding Page, while Brin is stepping down as president of Alphabet.

Page and Brin told Campaign Asia Pacific: “With Alphabet now well-established, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure.

“We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two chief executives and a president.”

Page and Brin will remain on Google’s board and are not selling their founder stock, so the pair will retain ultimate control over the company’s major decisions.

“They will remain on the board and are not selling their founder stock, so will retain ultimate control.”

These decisions are of crucial importance to the advertising industry, since Google has become by far the world’s biggest advertising company (its ad revenue for the most recent quarter was US$33bn – the same amount as the entire UK ad market is forecast to generate this year).

Campaign UK global technology editor Omar Oakes said: “Page and Brin would have seen Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s much-lampooned recent appearance before Congress and perhaps think it’s the right time to take a step back into the shadows.

“In reality, the co-founders have been out of the limelight for quite some time, which is how they appear to like it.

“But that they will not still ultimately call the shots, or that their attitude towards accountability and business ethics has changed, is unlikely.”

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