Two years in, Sundar Pichai facing his toughest moment as CEO | andropet
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Two years in, Sundar Pichai facing his toughest moment as CEO

By Robert Triggs

Sundar Pichai was announced as the new CEO of Google back on August 10 2015, just a little over two years ago, after Larry Page and Sergey Brin moved to preside over Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. Over the past two years, Pichai has overseen the launch of the Pixel smartphone range, rapid Android growth in emerging markets, and cloud computing, to name just a few. Alas, he has also had to deal with Google’s share of controversy and scandal.

So, let’s recap the CEO’s two year tenure as head of the world’s most powerful internet company.

Leading with AI

Sundar Pichai inherited Google in excellent shape, but has made a number of distinctive transitions that has shifted the company’s direction over the past two years. Google has previously moved from search to mobile, but under Pichai there has been an increased focus on “AI first”. This was a note Pichai made a particular point of making at the most recent Google I/O. Almost all of Google’s latest announcements have revolved around AI in some way, from its second generation TPU chips for cloud computing, to improved imaging algorithms for Google Photo and camera improvements, and the steady march into the smart home.

It’s been a gradual transition though, with the introduction of Google Cloud for business all the way back in 2011, which has rapidly expanding under Pichai’s leadership.

The company’s growth in cloud computing and the increasing use of neural net computing saw the company enter the hardware games with its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) in 2016, with a followup announced this year. Google now uses its expansive neural networking capabilities for image recognition, video analytics, speech recognition, translations, YouTube and advertisement recommendations, and has even helped out in the mapping of DNA sequences to assist with medical science, among many other uses. This early focus on neural networks, AI, and software has not only paid off on the software side, but has also given the company a big boost when it comes to making its hardware offerings stand out.

Google has quickly transitioned from a mobile first to AI first company, using neural network computing across its products.

Chief among one of Google’s most ambitious plans under Pichai is the launch of its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones last year – two high-end machines aimed squarely at taking on Apple and Samsung. Google wasn’t a complete stranger to hardware development, having partners with other OEMs for previous releases, but an expensive campaign to establish itself in the flagship tier market was an uncommonly bold move.

While the Android enthusiast crowd was reluctant to see the end of the Nexus line and the subsequent higher price point of the Pixel’s, in the end the range was universally praised and has done plenty to raise Google’s profile in the minds of consumers regarding both smartphone software and hardware. The gamble will perhaps be Google’s biggest win of the past few years, if the company can build on this success with the upcoming Pixel 2.

See also:
Google Pixel 2: Everything we know so far

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Google Pixel 2: Everything we know so far

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Few would have predicted the appeal of the Pixel back in 2015.

Google in numbers

This isn’t to say that Google hasn’t had its share of controversy and issues over the same period. The company has continually been in and out of court in the US and Europe for cases ranging from patent infringement to anti-competitive practices. Just this summer, Google was handed a record breaking fine by the European Commission for giving its own shopping comparison tool an illegal advantage over the competition, to the tune of €2.42 billion (~$2.7 billion). The company has also had to abandon installing its own search technology as the default option in its Chrome browser in Russia, and has been unable to shift China’s attitude towards its apps and services.

Of course, there’s more to Google than just AI and Pixel phones. Despite the split-up under Alphabet, Google is still responsible for overseeing YouTube, Search , Maps, Apps, Ads, and, of course, Android. There have been a number of changes, trends, and developments made across all of these segments even just over the past year or so. It would be to lengthy to delve into all of these individually, so instead here’s a quick glance at just some of Google’s recent achievements Pichai can attach his name too, to see how things have changed over the past two years.

  • Google announced over 2 billion active Android devices in May 2017, compared with 1.4 billion in September 2015.
  • Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube a month, up from just over a billion 2015, and 80 percent of these now come from outside the US. Revenues are also up two folder year-on-year.
  • Google Photos contained 50 billion photos and videos in 2015, but now users are uploading 1.2 billion pictures every single day.
  • Mobile search results overtook desktop results for the first time in 2015 m, increasing to 60 percent in 2016.
  • In 2016, Google generated $63.11 billion in net digital ad revenues worldwide, an increase of 19.0% over 2015. That’s roughly 32% of the world’s digital ad market.
  • Google reached $25.8 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from $21.2 billion the year before.
See also:
This Was Google I/O 2017

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This Was Google I/O 2017

May 21, 2017

That’s not mentioning that Google has managed to expand into many new territories over the past few years, with mobile rapidly driving internet and business service growth in India and other countries. Clearly, Google is bigger, more powerful, and more profitable than every before under Pichai.

Pichai’s most testing month

While Sundar Pichai’s time at Google has been a successful one, at least from an …read more

Source:: android authority

    

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