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How a secret agreement with Google's cofounders is putting CEO Sundar Pichai's leadership to the test

How a secret agreement with Google's cofounders is putting CEO Sundar Pichai's leadership to the test

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped away from their day-to-day duties at Alphabet last year, an informal agreement with CEO Sundar Pichai was made: the two billionaire cofounders would make themselves available whenever Pichai called, but they would not initiate contact.It was an important acknowledgement that Pichai, the understated, 48-year-old engineer who rose through the ranks, was now the sole decision maker at the helm of an internet powerhouse that includes Google, YouTube and Android. The founders' arrangement also signaled that the grueling task of steering the company through some of the biggest crises in its history was now Pichai's problem.Since taking control of both Google and its parent company Alphabet, insiders say Pichai has been leading the empire with a steady hand.
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