The CEO of Alphabet, Larry Page, announced on Tuesday his resignation to “simplify the management structure” of the company, and will be replaced by the head of Google, Sundar Pichai, who will combine both positions.

Larry Page founded Google in 1998 along with Sergey Brin and served as CEO of Alphabet since 2015, when the company was created as Google’s umbrella company to keep the different lines of business of an increasingly diversified firm separate.

Brin also announced that he is leaving his position as president of Alphabet, a position that is fundamentally honorary and will disappear with the departure of the co-founder.

With Alphabet already well established and Google and the other business operating effectively as independent companies, “it’s a natural time to simplify the management structure,” Page and Brin said in a joint letter formalizing the resignation.

“We have never been people who stick to positions when we believe there is a better way to manage the company,” they said.

Pichai, who has been with the company since 2004 and before heading Google had led the Android and Chrome teams, said he was looking forward to “continuing to work” with Page and Brin in their new position.

Although he will no longer hold an executive position in the company, Page will continue to be a prominent voice in Alphabet and Google, both as a co-founder and because he controls 5.8% of the shares, along with 5.6% controlled by his partner and friend Sergey Brin.

Page and Brin founded the online search engine company in September 1998 in the garage of their friend Susan Wojcicki in Menlo Park (California, USA) as a research project of two PhD students from Stanford University.

Within a few years, Google would open up a niche market surpassing its then competitors AltaVista, Yahoo!, Hotbot and Excite.com, among others, and would consolidate definitively by surviving the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000.

Since then, the empire based in Mountain View (California) has grown exponentially into a business that earns more than 100 billion dollars annually.

In addition to searches, Google also has an almost absolute monopoly of Internet advertising revenue, although in this case shared with Facebook.

Online advertising alone generates more than $70 billion annually in the U.S., more than the amount generated by television ads, and it is estimated that more than 90% of annual growth goes to Google and Facebook.

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