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Larry, Sergey: what has become of you?

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday February 2, 2008 )

Apologies to Pink Floyd and Vera Lynn. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the original Googlers seem to have been eclipsed by their own brand and not all that much is heard from them directly these days. So what are they up to?

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were not overly fond of each other when they first met at Stanford University back in 1995 – seems they argued over just about everything, but by 1996, they started work on Backrub, the precursor to Google.

In September 1998, Google Inc. opened its (garage) door California – it wasn’t uncommon for major tech companies to start out from very humble surroundings in those days.

At that point, Google.com was answering 10,000 search queries each day. Hard to believe it was under 10 years ago. Google now receives several hundred million queries each day and the company has grown to more than 10,000 employees worldwide.

Larry Page

Larry is now 34 and is still President of Products at Google. He continues to have a hand in Google’s day-to-day operations. Outside of Google he has his finger in a few pies, including being an investor in Tesla Motors, a company developing the upmarket Tesla Roadster, a 250 mile range battery electric sports car. Larry married Lucy Southworth in December last year and the best man at the ceremony was Virgin founder – Richard Branson.

Sergey Brin

Sergey is also 34 and currently holds the position of President of Technology at Google. Like Larry, he’s still involved in Google’s day-to-day operations and is also an investor in Tesla motors plus other green energy related projects. Last year, Brin married Anne Wojcicki – a biotech analyst and founder of 23andMe; a personal DNA genotyping service. More about Sergey

Both Larry and Sergey still get involved with weekly strategy meetings, where they have the last word on approving new products, reviewing new staff and funding long-term research. While Eric Schmidt is CEO of the company, they both have no intention of ceding control. In fact – the month before the company went public Larry, Sergey and Eric agreed they would work together for 20 years.

Larry and Sergey had some interesting things to say in a recent interview about Google’s company culture. Larry made mention of how his grandfather, an assembly line worker, used to “carry this long iron pipe with a big chunk of lead on the end when he walked to work” to protect himself from the company he worked for. Seems Larry had a good blueprint for how not to do things in terms of HR :).

While I’m not usually fond of big publicly-held companies; these guys I’ll always tip my hat to for starting a business that helped mine succeed and for helping millions find what they were looking for on the web more easily.

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