How to Become Google CEO? Need To Develop 5 Qualities To Become CEO of Google | What Is Google CEO Salary?

A future without Google is next to impossible.

Google is an indisputable giant that will influence our way of life and economics for the foreseeable future. As such, few job titles wield as much power and influence as being CEO of Google.

Who doesn’t wish to become a successful person in their life! Isn’t it? However, we are all very well aware of the fact that it requires an immense level of hard work and dedication.

If you want to become a successful CEO, you need to follow good habits, need to change the daily routine and there are other things too. Those who achieved something in their life also followed the same thing.

Many ambitious minds long to become Google’s CEO, but sadly they don’t know how to get there. However, that all changed when Indian-born Sundar Pichai took the post of Google CEO. Since then, people have realized that what used to be a far-fetched dream is now inside their realm of possibilities.

So how do you become CEO of Google? What qualities do you need to possess to claim that station? Is there any hope for you at all? Well, let’s explore the possibilities.

Googles-CEO
Google CEO, Sundar Pichai by Maurizio Pesce

Which Path To Tread To Become The CEO Of Google?

Dreams without plans will remain just dreams. So if you plan to become CEO of Google, you need to identify the different pathways you can take to end up as Google CEO. It’s unlikely that you will become a Google CEO without strategizing and making concrete plans.

So what options are available to become Google CEO?

  1. Be a founding member of Google
  2. Become a majority shareholder of Google.
  3. Rise through the ranks.
  4. Possess an excellent record of achievements in similar/subordinate positions.
  5. Possess specialized education and vast experience in the field.

These are five common ways others have used to become CEO, so let’s check whether they can help you become CEO.

Firstly, if you are not Sergey Brin or Larry Page, there’s no way you are a Google founder as that ship has already sailed.

Likewise, unless you are really wealthy and also have godly persuasion skills, becoming Google’s majority shareholder is a no-go for you. Why do I say so? 51% of Google’s voting shares are currently in the hands of Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Chances are, they will not relinquish control over their baby anytime soon.

At the end of the day, what viable options do you have left?

  1. Rise through the ranks.
  2. Possess an excellent record of achievements in similar/subordinate positions.
  3. Possess specialized education and vast experience in the field.

If you examine these remaining options, you’ll notice that all three options prioritize three things, which are:

  • Education
  • Experience or Skills
  • Merits

To better understand how to become Google’s CEO, let’s look at how other Google CEOs claimed that job title.

How-to-Become-Google-CEO
Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Google’s Past CEOs

  • Since its founding, Google has had three CEOs. Remarkably, all of Google’s three CEOs walked different paths to end up as its CEO. For example, Google’s first CEO was its founder, Larry Page.
  • Second, came Eric Schmidt, an individual with experience in a CEO position as he was previously the CEO of Novell.
  • Lastly, we have Sundar Pichai, who became CEO by going the traditional route – rising through the ranks of Google.

Here are brief bios about each Google CEO and how they ended up as CEO. This information will help us identify things we can either learn from or emulate.

Larry Page (Former CEO; 1997-2001; 2011-2015)

Larry Page, a co-founder, was the first CEO of Google before it even became popular. Together with Sergey Brin, Page is largely responsible for conceiving and growing Google.

Larry Page became CEO of Google by being both a co-founder and a co-majority shareholder.

Page later stepped down from CEO in 2001 due to other factors disrupting Google’s growth. Replacing Page was industry veteran Eric Schmidt who paved the way for a more mature Larry Page to resume his role as CEO in 2011.

Larry Page graduated with honors from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering.

Page later went on to pursue a Master of Science in Computer Science at Stanford University.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page later developed Google during their enrollment for a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford.

As a result, both Larry Page and Sergey Brin never finished their doctorates. Instead, they devoted their time to founding and growing Google.

Let’s look at Page’s Stats

larry-page

Education

Experience and Skills.

  • Top-Notch Technical Skills.
  • Revolutionary Thinking.
  • Learned about computers from an early age.
  • Curiosity, Research, and Experimentation.

Merits

Primarily responsible for the founding of Google. Revolutionized search engine mechanics.

Sergey-Brin-Larry-Page-and-Eric-Schmidt-by-Joi-Ito
Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt by Joi Ito

Eric Schmidt (Former CEO; 2001 – 2011)

In the early years of Google, investors felt that the rapidly growing company needed an experienced CEO to manage and build a sustainable corporate culture. Sergey Brin and Larry Page eventually agreed to hire Eric Schmidt as Google’s new CEO in 2001 after internal management problems arose due to Google’s rapid growth,

So how did Eric Schmidt qualify for Google CEO?

Eric Schmidt received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Princeton University. He later pursued a Master of Science degree and a Doctorate in EECS (Electrical Engineering/Computer Science) at the University of California, Berkeley.

In short, Schmidt is a highly-educated computer scientist/electrical engineer who complemented well the technical itches of Google’s founders.

Secondly, Schmidt had vast experience working in the technology industry. He previously worked for Sun Microsystems as its first software manager.

In this position, Schmidt rose through the ranks of Sun until he eventually became the president of Sun Technology Enterprises (STE). Here’s is how he transitioned from software manager to president of STE:

  1. Software Manager.
  2. Director of Software Engineering.
  3. Vice President & General Manager of the Software Products Division.
  4. Vice President of the General Systems Group.
  5. President of Sun Technology Enterprises.

After leaving Sun, Schmidt became the CEO and board chairman of Novell, a position that armed him with the necessary expertise to become the CEO of Google eventually.

Let’s look at Schmidt Stats:

Eric Schmidt

Schmidt was a triple threat; He had the education, the experience, and the merits.

Education

Experience and Skills

  • Holds specialized knowledge about the computer science industry.
  • Top-Notch Technical Skills.
  • Past Experience in a CEO position.
  • Experience as board chairman of a multinational tech company.
  • Well-connected with a wide network of contacts.
  • Remarkable business, interpersonal, and political skills

Merits

  • Proven track record as he rose through the ranks of Sun Microsystems.
  • He has served on various boards of trustees.

Sundar Pichai (Current CEO; 2015 – ?)

His full name is Pichai Sundararajan.

Sundar Pichai is a highly-educated, highly-skilled, and highly experienced individual. Born in India, Pichai went on to study Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Kharagpur.

After completing his undergraduate studies, Pichai moved to the United States to pursue a Masters in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University.

Like many other CEOs with MBAs, Sundar Pichai later graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA (Master of Business Administration).

Before joining Google, Pichai worked for two other companies in various roles.

Sundar Pichai joined Google in 2004 as its new vice president of product management. In this role, Pichai led the teams working on several of Google’s most important products, including:

  • Google Toolbar
  • Google Chrome
  • Chrome OS
  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Android Operating System
  • And many more.

As you can see from above, Pichai was an instrumental figure in most of Google’s leading products. Thus, it came as no surprise when Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Google when Larry Page stepped down to lead Alphabet.

Currently, Pichai is the CEO of both Google and Alphabet, which reportedly gave him an Alphabet+Google CEO salary of $242 million. Now Pichai takes home $2 million annually.

Pichai became a Google CEO by rising through the ranks and building an excellent record of achievements. Sundar Pichai proved himself time and time again until he gained recognition.

Let’s break down Sundar Pichai’s Stats

sundar-pichai

Education

Experience and Skills

  • Worked as Management Consultant for McKinsey & Co.
  • Top-Notch Technical Skills That Made Him A Key Player.
  • Had 11 years of experience managing high-pressure products.
  • Remarkable Political and Interpersonal Skills.
  • Hard Worker.
  • Unofficially ran many aspects of Google before CEO appointment.
  • Early threat detection as he came up with Chrome as a countermeasure against the inevitable prejudice from Microsoft or Firefox. He was also responsible for Google Drive, etc.

Merits

  • Proposed the development of Google Chrome.
  • Primarily responsible for Google Drive.
  • He excelled in each position and task assigned.
  • A highly-trusted member of Google’s key leadership.
  • Successfully launched Chromebook and ChromeOS.

The Path Towards Google CEO. How to Become CEO of Google!

Now that we have some examples, it’s much easier to identify the skills, qualities, and qualifications to become Google CEO and bank the extravagant salary attached to the job.

We will talk about the Google CEO’s salary later.

Here are five qualities you need to develop to become a CEO of Google:

1. Get Educated

As you can see from above, everyone who managed to become Google’s CEO had at least a postgraduate degree. For example, Larry Page has a Master of Science, Eric Schmidt has a Doctorate, and Sundar Pichai has a Master of Science and a Master of Business Administration.

Another thing you’ll notice is that all the CEOs are alumni from reputable universities, particularly Ivy League colleges or something similar. For instance, Both Pichai and Page are Stanford University alumni, while Schmidt is a Princeton/UC Berkeley alumnus.

Therefore, to become a Google CEO, you need to have graduated from reputable universities, preferably with a postgraduate degree in Computer Science/Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Business Administration.

2. Gain Experience

Unless you start your own company, it’s almost unheard of for a company to hire an untested and inexperienced individual for CEO. Therefore, don’t think that you can go from college straight into the Google CEO’s chair.

Firstly, you have to amass industry knowledge and experience. You can do so by getting a job either at Google or at another company. I recommend starting outside of Google and working your way up to a management position.

I recommend starting at another company because Google is too competitive. As a result, it’s harder to be noticed and get promoted than if you were in a less competitive but reputable company.

For example, Sundar Pichai first worked at Applied Materials and McKinsey & Co in management and consultant roles before applying for a product management executive position at Google.

Why did he do so? To learn, gain experience, and experiment without staining his record.

Similarly, you can also apply to Google for a better management/executive position after gaining more confidence in your knowledge, skills, experience, etc. In this way, your contributions to Google’s objectives will be more visible in a senior position. 

3. Network and Build Connections

Don’t wait until you finish college to start networking; By then, it will be too late. Start building your networks early by:

  • Volunteering in community projects.
  • Applying for internships where you can showcase your skills and talents.
  • Attend networking events and business seminars

In short, participate in events that enable you to mix and mingle with like-minded people, future employers, or community leaders.

If you contact the right people and make the right connections, I guarantee you that your path to the top will be much easier. A good word from an influential person might be all it takes to be one step closer to your goals.

4. Keep On Learning and Be The Best At What You Do

Sundar Pichai has a reputation for being a low-key person, but he is as sharp as a knife when it comes to his job. His technical skills, together with his reliability, allowed him to be the cornerstone everyone seeks out when they need something done.

Therefore, you must be consistent, effectively results-oriented, amass achievements and merits just like Sundar Pichai. If you do so, promotion is only a matter of time.

In short, be indispensable and make people need you. Then, if they need you, they will respect you, and if they respect you, you can lead them.

Google-CEO-and-PM-Narendra-Modi
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and India’s PM Narendra Modi by GODL-India

5. Develop Your Political, Interpersonal, and Leadership Skills

You need other people’s support to become CEO. You need to learn how to manage, influence, and lead people.

You also need to develop your political compass to help you navigate and resolve the politics inside and outside your company. How unfortunate would it be if your path to CEO is blocked because you offended the wrong person?

Research has shown that around 15 percent of engineer’s success comes from their technical skills. However, a larger part of an engineer’s success depends upon their ability to manage and interact with people. Hence, your success depends upon your interpersonal skills.

You can be the next Einstein, but without interpersonal skills, you will never become the CEO of Google.

So why are interpersonal skills so crucial?

Well, in your future role as CEO, you will likely meet many people you need to convince or persuade. Thus a solid understanding of human psychology, negotiation tactics, power dynamics, and conflict resolution is necessary.

To polish these skills, read books such as:

Important Books to Read

How To Win Friends and Influence People

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

48 Laws Of Power

Atomic Habits

With the right amount of luck, effort, and networking, you might be Google’s next CEO.

What is Google CEO Salary Per Day?

In this world of chasing power, influence, wealth, and status, few jobs can get you all four. However, if you become Google’s CEO, you are guaranteed to get all these desirables.

So let’s discuss the current Google CEO’s salary.

When Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Alphabet and Google, there were many headlines regarding his salary being one of the highest in the world.

Let’s look at how his salary changed from when he was only Google’s CEO to when he became the CEO of both Google and Alphabet.

Before Becoming CEO of Alphabet, i.e., only CEO of Google.

Before 2019, when Sundar Pichai was only the CEO of Google, he still pulled an impressive Google CEO salary of $650 000 without counting benefits. Taking into account benefits, his total Google salary was $3.3 million.

The above means that Pichai’s Google CEO salary per day was $1780 without benefits. As a result, his Google CEO salary per hour was $222 (excluding benefits).

If we include benefits, Pichai’s Google CEO salary per day was a whopping $9041. Going a step further, we would discover that his Google CEO salary per hour was $1130. Interesting fact, in case you missed it, his total compensation (salary+benefits) per hour of $1130 is almost equal to his base salary per day of $1780. What do you think about that?

If Pichai were in India, his base Google CEO salary in rupees would be roughly 4.8 crores. Including other benefits, his total compensation as Google CEO would have been approximately 22.5 crores. This means Sundar Pichai earned approximately Rs. 6.7 lakh per day as Google CEO. Consequently, he made about Rs 83,953 per hour.

After Becoming CEO of Alphabet + Google

In 2019, Sundar Pichai assumed a dual role as the CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet. To match his expanded powers and status, Pichai’s base salary was upgraded from $650,000 to $2 million, according to a 2020 filing by Google to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Keep in mind that this is only his salary, excluding his other CEO benefits.

If we include Pichai’s other benefits, his total compensation totals about $7.4 million.

In addition to this, when Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Alphabet + Google, he was given an additional stock package worth $240 million. However, the stock package is dependent upon his future performance as CEO.

On average, Sundar Pichai’s Alphabet+Google CEO salary per day is $5,479 without benefits and $20,273 with benefits. This implies that Pichai earns $2,534 per hour (with benefits)! Imagine that.

If you are from India, Pichai’s Alphabet + Google CEO salary in rupees is Rs 54.9 crore with benefits included. Without benefits, his Alphabet + Google CEO salary in rupees is Rs 14.8 crore.

Taking everything into account, the current Google CEO salary per day in rupees is Rs 15 lakh. Consequently, the current Alphabet + Google CEO salary in rupees per hour is Rs 1.8 lakh.

That’s all we have on how to become Google CEO; what to do with this information is up to you.

Hopefully, your questions have been answered.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to send me a gift card when you become CEO. 🙂

Ciao.

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