It was April 2021 when the news broke that Larry Page and Sergey Brin had surpassed the $ 100 billion mark, which puts them in an even more elite club.
The “two little ones of Google”, as they were once called in Silicon Valley, are today two of the only 8 people in the world who have a fortune of over $ 100 billion.
The other six are Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, LVMH Group boss Bernard Arno, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and major investor Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway).
Page and Brin’s fortunes rose by $ 40 billion (in total) during the pandemic, as the tech industry boomed in the coronavirus.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Page currently has a fortune of $ 103.6 billion ($ 102.8 billion, according to Forbes), while Brin is worth $ 100.2 billion (99.6 billion). according to Forbes).
According to Bloomberg, between April 2020 and April 2021, Brin’s wealth increased by 20.4 billion, while Page’s by 21.2 billion. This is due to the share of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which recorded rise over 80% over the same period.
The demon duo continues to own its majority stake Alphabet, jointly controlling over 50% of the total votes.
Alphabet had revenue of $ 46.43 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, attributing the increase to the terrifying use of people on YouTube and Google Search in the pandemic.
But how did it all start and, most importantly, how and why did Google’s adventure for its two founders end?
Google short history
He was writing the diary in August 1996 when two Stanford PhD students developed PageRank, a search engine that would evolve into what is Google.
The two kids, computer science students, met at university in 1995 and the beginnings of Google are the story of an idea. Page’s vision specifically for a World Wide Web search engine that can rank web pages based on the frequency of links from other pages.
With Brin’s help, the idea was transformed into PageRank, the algorithm behind Google Search. The search engine hit the internet in 1996, from Stanford’s own network.
In the CV that Brin had even uploaded in the Stanford online database, we also meet his real “goal” in life: “A big office, good pay and very little work. Frequent and paid trips to exotic destinations will be considered a plus!
Luck would smile on Brin and he would finally live what he dreamed of. Not in the early years, when he held the position of president of Google, together with his partner, but later, when he would resign to deal with the experimental parts of his colossus.
Three years later, in 1999, the two children tried to sell Google, having in the meantime changed its name from that unexplained BackRub.
They were thinking of selling it because they had not yet realized its potential. They were asking for $ 1 million to give it to Excite and intermediary investor Vinod Khosla managed to bring its price down to $ 750,000.
Excite CEO George Bell, however, considered the amount excessive. Today, Google is worth $ 913 billion.
The next major milestone was in August 2001, when Page resigned as CEO at Eric Schmidt. Since 1998, the duo has overseen one of the fastest growing companies in the world and at some point fell hard on them.
At the behest of the shareholders, Novell boss Eric Schmidt came to the company to give the children’s company “parental care”, as Brin famously called it in a 2001 television interview.
Schmidt’s most experienced management was a move-mat, marginalizing the stubborn but socially awkward Page, who hurt the day-to-day running of the company.
Next year, the colossus then Yahoo tried to buy Google for $ 3 billion, but Page and Brin did not bite. In August 2004, Google went public, with a market capitalization of $ 27 billion. It was now a rocket in terms of development.
A year later, in August 2005, Page bought Android for $ 50 million without even telling Schmidt! Page had sensed the rise of mobile and moved in a hurry to buy the small startup, which would eventually become the most popular operating system for mobile devices.
In October 2006, Susan Wojcicki, the 16th employee of Google, convinces the two young people to buy a video platform. YouTube called it and paid dearly, $ 1.65 billion.
In September 2008, Google launched Chrome, thanks to one of its employees, Pic Sundar Pichai. Again without the assent of General Manager Schmidt. Who in January 2001 would assume the position of chairman, giving the position of CEO again to Page.
2014 was marked by Brin’s extramarital affairs, in which he had an affair with his employee Amanda Rosenberg, cheating on his wife, Anne Wojcicki. Yes, her sister Susan Wojcicki. Brin eventually broke up and Page made him talk for a long time.
In August 2015, Google was restructured as Alphabet. It is now a colossus, dealing with everything from motor vehicles and new technologies to Nexus smartphones, quantum computers and countless other products and services.
The new company was named Alphabet and saw it removal of the two founders from positions of responsibility of Google. Page was the CEO and Brin the president of Alphabet, leaving superstar Sundar Pichai at the helm of Google.
End of season
Page and Brin leave the helm of Google and Alphabet, covering the news media in 2019, placing Sundar Pichai in the position of general manager of the parent group, Alphabet (continuing to be CEO of Google).
The two founders said it and did it. Pichai, of course, continued to consult with them frequently, but as time went on, their relationship grew colder and colder.
People now remember the days when Page and Brin got $ 1 from Google, spending their vast fortunes on mansions, superyachts and private jets.
But also in important investments, such as the $ 40 million investment they made together in 2016 in a company founded by Elon Musk. Tesla called her.
The two founders resigned at a difficult time for the company, amid federal investigations into monopoly practices and ongoing employee grievances.
Page and Brin were not completely out of frame. They remain typical Alphabet employees and retain their positions on the board, where together they control 51.3% of the vote. They continue to have control of Alphabet, that is, they are simply absent from its daily operation.
“Today, in 2019, if the company was human, it would be a young 21-year-old and it would be time to get out of its nest,” the two wrote in the joint announcement of their sudden resignation, “despite the fact that it was “It is a great privilege to deal so deeply with the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe that it is time to take on the role of proud parents, offering advice and love, but not daily whining!”
These were written by Page and Brin and then disappeared. Sources said they spend their time on flying cars and futuristic robots, rarely making public appearances.
These two happy and clever children, who saw their idea of becoming an empire, gave it all up in two decades. As a guru of the world of technology and billionaires any longer.
It is said that they gave up everything because they did not like the way their lives had turned out. They wanted to make innovative things and suddenly found themselves running a business giant.
And so they left to do what they always wanted: to do many different things without his hoarseness management of a company.
What are the two founders doing today?
Page more or less disappeared from the face of the earth when he handed over control of Google to Pichai in 2015. He appeared once in a while at Google headquarters, next to Brin, but never spoke in public again.
Few sources want him to have devoted himself wholeheartedly to the idea of the flying car. This concerns him now, however, finding time to deal with innumerable more startups, either as an investor or as a mentor.
It is not known why he is so concerned with the idea of the flying car, however he is said to have sworn to make it a reality. There he spends his years after the birth of Alphabet and there he invests his money.
In the same way that Page disappeared from the public sphere in 2015, so Brin magically disappeared. We suddenly saw him come out of oblivion in January 2017 to protest his immigration policy Trump.
He lives as a hermit as if he did. It is very difficult to find information about his action after he moved from Google to Alphabet. Reports want him to work on a huge “sky yacht”, a test aircraft for humanitarian aid missions.
However, he appeared in person, something very rare now, in protest at San Francisco International Airport in 2017 against the anti-immigration policy of the former American president. Brin is a Russian immigrant and would not let that happen.
He even gave a speech to his employees, reaffirming Google’s commitment to support every immigrant.
Although they are absent from the public sphere, of course, they remained very active in the infamous weekly meetings of Google, where executives answer questions from employees and clarify the landscape for future moves.
It is said that the two of them do not intend to speak again in public. When they even resigned from Alphabet, Pichai announced to the employees that the weekly meetings (attended by the two founders) would be diluted.
Page and Brin currently have no involvement in the colossus’ daily operation, yet they continue to control it.