Sundar Pichai Takes New Position, More Responsibility: Is The Top Spot Next?

It’s a good day to be Sundar Pichai. He’ll probably have better days ahead.

The New York Times is reporting that Pichai has accepted a busier role in Google’s daily operations from Larry Page, Google’s Chief Executive Officer.

On Friday, Mr. Page promoted Mr. Pichai to oversee every major Google product except YouTube. The move makes Pichai the number two man in Google, which should make more time to allow Mr.Page more time for working on futuristic projects, and Pichai the authority to keep the day-to-day operations going.a

In a memo on Friday, Mr. Page said that Mr. Pichai’s empire – which already includes the Android and Chrome products, along with Google Apps like Google Docs and Gmail – expands to Research, Search, Maps, the social media network Google Plus, along with Commerce. He will also oversee technical infrastructure, making sure Google has little to no downtime.

This move creates something Google never had; a solid infrastructure. That move adds an extra layer of management, and gives Google a more traditional corporate structure, according to a person with knowledge of the announcement. In some ways, the position is a chief petty officer deals with all except the corporate financial structure, still under Mr. Page.

This move leads to speculation that, if and when Page is ready to leave, Page has his capable replacement at the ready. Mr. Page, who first started

Business Standard is reporting, however, that this is probably not the last promotion for Mr. Pichai.

The development lends weight to the possibility that Mr. Pichai could be Google’s next chief executive, when Mr. Page decides to step down. After all, he is controlling most of the company as its operations man, leaving Mr. Page with more time to focus on the “big picture”. It seems Mr. Page, who started Google with Sergey Brin, wants to devote his energy towards building the Google of tomorrow, through restructuring.

Google X, the Google division which delves into the future of Google — glass and self-driving cars — along with digital-thermostat maker Nest Labs, which is dabbling in the ‘internet of things’, will be under Mr. Page’s watch, as will corporate development, finance, business and legal segments.

Last year, Mr. Pichai, 42, was appointed the chief of Google’s popular mobile operating system, Android. Since replacing Andy Rubin, he has focused on improving collaborative efforts between Google areas on the Android system, as well as solidifying key relationships with important partners such as Samsung.

This division of power, and labor, can only serve to improve Google, because this decision puts each man in a position to best serve Google with their strengths; Mr. Pichai, the consummate details man, and Mr. Page, the futuristic visionary.

[Image courtesy of Slashgear]