When Sundar Pichai joined the Mountain View-based search engine giant in 2004, he was only a hard-working employee who wanted to add value to the company and perhaps never imagined that he would someday become the highest-paid chief executive in the country. An erudite pundit, the Indian-born engineering whizz joined Google as part of a small team but ambitiously exceeded expectations when he masterminded the phenomenal launch of Google’s web browser Chrome in 2008, shocking his co-workers, superiors and millions of web surfers across the globe. This feat undoubtedly saw Sundar Pichai’s net worth hit the rooftop.
Today, CEO Sundar Pichai receives an annual salary that is more than double that of the average employee in Google. Besides his annual compensation, Pichai’s stock awards in Alphabet Inc. have been so overwhelmingly huge that he’s turned down new stock options offered to him by the company. Here’s Sundar Pichai’s net worth, career progression, as well as how he became Google boss and what his current net worth is.
Sundar Pichai Before Google
An Indian gentleman born on July 12, 1972, Pichai Sundararajan is the son of an electrical engineer and a stenographer. Sundar and his brother had a decent upbringing in their Asian home country – India. He was a hardworking student right from his high school days at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan. He continued with his excellent academic records at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur where he studied Metallurgical Engineering.
Sundar later bagged a scholarship to Stanford University where he earned his postgraduate degree in materials science and semiconductor physics. The scholarly gentleman would have taken his academic pursuits to Ph.D. level at Stanford but eventually decided against it to focus on building his career. Years later, in 2002, Sundar Pichai returned to the classroom to bag an MBA from UPenn’s Wharton School.
How Did Sundar Pichai Become Google CEO?
Sundar Pichai first worked at Applied Materials, although his stint at the semiconductor manufacturing company was brief. Next, he joined McKinsey & Company as an engineer but was later promoted to a management consultant after earning his MBA.
Pichai has been with Google for more than a decade. He joined the search giant in 2004 as part of a small team that worked on its toolbar as well as other innovative products and services. It was while working on Google’s toolbar that Pichai saw the big picture and birthed the seed of what is today known as the popular Google Chrome browser.
When Sundar Pichai conceived the idea of the search giant’s browser, the concept did not quite sit well with the executive team at the time because they felt it was a risky venture for the company. But an ambitious Pichai would later prove naysayers wrong when Google’s web browser was launched to critical acclaim in 2008. Although browsers have been in existence from the beginning of the internet, Chrome has phenomenally become one of the fastest and most efficient browsers of this era for most web surfers.
Google’s web browser has since birthed other subset products such as the Chromecast and Chrome OS. Sundar Pichai’s popularity within Google grew almost as exponentially as that of Chrome which instantly overtook other browsers around the globe. Between 2008 and 2014, Pichai rose up the ranks, serving in several executive roles such as Vice President, Senior Vice President and Product Chief of Product Development, Chrome & Apps and Android respectively.
In August 2015, engineering genius and veteran employee Sundar Pichai took over the internet giant, following a rejig in the company that saw the establishment of Google’s holding company, Alphabet Inc., that same year. As Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai has so far done a good job at ensuring that the company’s cash cow stays strong and yields maximum return.
What Is Sundar Pichai’s Net Worth?
Like most tech executives, Sundar Pichai receives hefty payouts. Even before he became the CEO of the Mountain View-based search giant, Pichai has been cashing in big on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Alphabet stock. Between 2014 and 2016, he was awarded stocks ranging from $100 million to $250 million. Interestingly, in 2018, the Google boss who felt he was already paid generously, turned down tens of millions of dollars worth of new stock options offered to him by the company.
As the CEO of the billion-dollar internet giant, Pichai is compensated with $650,000 annually, not forgetting a personal security budget of $1.2 million. But his compensation has more than doubled since 2016, making him the country’s highest-paid chief executive. His net worth is believed to have soared to more than $600 million. Sundar Pichai’s increased stock in Google’s holding company Alphabet has clearly led to a rise in his net worth and some financial analysts have recently pegged his fortune at the value of $1.2 billion.