Five years ago, on August 10, 2015, Google's then-CEO Larry Page had two big announcements to make. Not only did he announce the foundation of Alphabet as Google's new parent company, but he also appointed Sundar Pichai his successor as CEO of Google.
"Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products," Page explained at the time, adding that "Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence." With respect to Pichai, Page noted that "Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now," and that he feels "very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google."
Pichai, who had joined Google in 2004, delivered on that promise and was eventually named CEO of Alphabet and Google in December 2019. As the following chart shows, his stint at the helm of the search giant has been very successful, at least from a shareholder’s perspective. Since his appointment in August 2015 (although it took until October to be finalized) Alphabet’s share price more than doubled, outperforming the broader market (as represented by the S&P 500 in the chart) by a significant margin. Alphabet is currently valued at more than $1 trillion, making it one of the few companies to ever reach that milestone.