How Sundar Pichai landed the top job at Google
Sundar Pichai, the India-born CEO of technology giant Google LLC, is in the rare club of Indians who are at the helm of top global conglomerates.
Sundar Pichai, the India-born CEO of technology giant Google LLC, is in the rare club of Indians who are at the helm of top global conglomerates. Some others in the club are Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe Systems, and Ajaypal Singh Bagga of Mastercard. Some wonder, what it takes to become the CEO of Google. Believe it or not, but Pichai has answered this himself. At an event at IIT Kharagpur, Pichai had answered the million dollar question - How he landed the top job at Google? when getting even a small opportunity at the tech giant is sought by techies.
Pichai was upfront honest and spoke eloquently on the matter. Pichai said he was interviewed at Google on April 1 2004, which is April Fools Day. At that time Google had just announced Gmail and he was not sure whether it was just an April Fools joke." In his first three interviews, Pichai couldn't respond well when he was asked what he thought about Gmail and he thought it was a joke, as he never used that Google product.
Pichai answered straight "no" when he was asked whether he had seen Gmail. However, his ignorance about Gmail didn't eliminate him, he recalled. Instead, the interviewer went on to explain what Gmail actual was. Pichai, however, was confident when he was asked the same question in the fifth round of the interview. This time he answered confidently about what he thought of the product and how it could be improved.
The Google CEO said he never tried to fool the interviewers and admitted that he didn't know because he had not used the product yet. When he was shown the product, he got hold of it to ace his fifth round, Pichai recounted. This might be a valuable lesson for job seekers. Pichai is the IIT Kharagpur alumni who joined Google in 2004 and later went on to become CEO of Google.