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Larry Page steps down as CEO, Sundar Pichai to run Google and Alphabet



SAN FRANCISCO — It’s the end of an internet era: Larry Page is stepping down as head of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and ceding management control to Sundar Pichai who will take over as CEO of both, the internet giant said in an announcement Tuesday. 

Page and Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google more than two decades ago while graduate students at Stanford University, will continue as members of Alphabet’s board of directors and still exercise considerable sway over the company as its two largest individual shareholders.

The surprise news from one of the world’s most powerful technology companies comes as Google has been rocked by criticism from Washington lawmakers and President Trump, growing scrutiny from regulators, rising competition from, internal scandals and unrest within its own ranks.

Saying it’s a “natural time to simplify our management structure,” Page and Brin said Google and its parent company no longer need “two CEOs and a president.”

“We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company,” the duo wrote in a letter announcing their decision.

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Page’s step back from the spotlight did not surprise Google watchers who have noted his increasingly hands-off approach to being Alphabet’s top executive even as demands on the leaders of major tech companies intensified.

In recent years, Page and Brin spent most of their time focused on what Alphabet calls “other bets,” technologies that are far afield from internet advertising, while Pichai ran Google and its search and advertising business.

It wasn’t always this way. Page was far more visible inside and outside the company in 2011 when he retook the reins as CEO from Eric Schmidt, who was brought in to help take the young company public in 2004. The public offering was the springboard that transformed Google’s lucrative search advertising business into one of the world’s largest companies with its fingers in everything from YouTube to smart devices.

Pichai, who joined Google in 2004, became CEO of Google in 2015 when Google created a new publicly traded company to house all of its disparate businesses at a time when investors were rattled by Google’s spending on its “moonshots,” experimental projects such as driverless cars and delivering Internet access from high-altitude balloons. 

In that sweeping overhaul of the company, Page became CEO of Alphabet, Brin became president and Eric Schmidt became executive chairman. Schmidt stepped down in January 2017. Now all three figures have taken their hands off the wheel in the daily management of Alphabet.

In an email to Google employees, Pichai said the management shift would not undercut his work at Google. “I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone,” he wrote. “At the same time, I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology.”

Alphabet shares closed at $1,294.74 Tuesday and rose less than 1% in after-hours trading after the news broke. Alphabet stock is up about 24% this year. The company is valued at nearly $900 billion. Page and Brin are among the wealthiest people in the world.

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Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir convicted of corruption




Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan for 30 years until he was ousted in April following a mass uprising, was on Saturday sentenced to two years in a reform centre after being found guilty of corruption.

The man whose word ruled over the vast north-east African nation for three decades listened from inside a metal defendant’s cage as a judge read out the verdict, which related to $130m found stuffed in suitcases in various currencies in his private residence.

In court he had claimed that some of the money was a donation from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of Sudan’s strategic relationship with the kingdom and was not for his private use.

Mr Bashir, 75, still faces charges related to the 1989 coup that brought him to power and to the killing of protesters whose nationwide uprising sparked by high bread prices persuaded the military that Mr Bashir had to go. That protest, in which the slogan “fall, that is all” spread like wildfire around Sudan’s cities, morphed into a much broader movement against his government’s repressive Islamist regime. Last week, the transitional council that replaced him banned Mr Bashir’s National Congress party and repealed public order laws that dictated how women dressed and behaved in public.

The generals who ousted him have resisted calls from the International Criminal Court that Mr Bashir face war crimes charges in The Hague for his alleged role in the killing of some 300,000 civilians in Darfur, in western Sudan. But the civilians who now share power with the military as part of a three-year transitional arrangement have said they are open to Mr Bashir facing trial at the ICC.

Under Mr Bashir, Sudan’s economy slowly deteriorated as more and more was spent on the military and as US-led sanctions bit. Washington fell out with Mr Bashir after he was accused of harbouring Osama bin Laden and of committing genocide in Darfur.

Mr Bashir also presided over the break-up of his country in 2011 after agreeing to a referendum on self-determination for predominantly Christian South Sudan after years of civil war.

Mr Bashir will serve his two-year sentence in a state-run reform centre since, the judge said, Sudan did not jail people over 70. His lawyers said they would appeal against the verdict, calling the trial political.


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রাত ১০:৩০ টার বাংলাভিশন সংবাদ | Bangla News | 14_December_2019 | 10:30 PM | BanglaVision News




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