Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced Wednesday that they will step down from their executive roles at parent company Alphabet.
Page, Alphabet’s chief executive officer and Brin, the company’s president, founded the tech giant in a Menlo Park, California garage in 1998 but now say it is time to “simplify our management structure.”
“Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost,” the two, both 46, said in a statement. “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President.”
Page and Brin added that they will now “assume the role of proud parents – offering advice and love, but not daily nagging.” They will, however, stay on as board directors and remain the two largest individual shareholders at the company.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai will become chief executive of Alphabet as well, which was founded in 2015 in order to make Google “cleaner and more accountable.” Alphabet now also includes the self-driving car company Waymo, one of Page and Brin’s various other projects, most of which are science-related.
The changes come as Google is battling criticism over its data security and privacy policies. The founders have largely declined to be the public face of the company over the last few years; Page failed to show up for a 2018 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign election meddling.