Google's Sundar Pichai ('93) Is a Really Nice Guy. Is That Enough?
The Wall Street Journal (September 11, 2020)
The low-key chief is contending with possible antitrust lawsuits, a revenue drop and pressure to take the company in new directions
If there’s one thing most people agree on about Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, it is that he is nice.
“He’s really thoughtful and incredibly kind,” says Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh. “Sundar’s temperament is just excellent,” says former executive Keval Desai. “He always loves sharing stories about his kids,” says current Googler Rishi Chandra.
So it seems fair to say that Google, one of the world’s largest and most influential companies, is led by a stand-up guy. His deliberately low-key style helped get him the top job at a company with a history of clashing personalities.
Almost everyone also agrees, however, that won’t be enough for what looms next.
State and federal prosecutors are expected to file antitrust lawsuits as soon as this month, asserting that Google’s colossal advertising operation rigs prices artificially high. The allegations, which Google broadly denies, cast Mr. Pichai in the opposite role to one he held early in his career. Roughly 15 years ago, he was Google’s point person for antitrust regulators—and he helped convince European authorities to file charges against then-dominant Microsoft Corp., former executives say. (Read More)