Larry Page: The Mastermind Behind Google

1 minutes reading time
Published 24 Apr 2024
Reviewed by: Kasper Karlsson

Larry Page is an American computer scientist and entrepreneur, renowned for co-founding Google with Sergey Brin in 1998 and for being one of the wealthiest individuals globally. Growing up in a household of computer science professionals – his father, a pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence, and his mother, a computer programming instructor – fueled his early passion for technology. This article explores the founding story of Google and examines Larry Page's pivotal role in creating Alphabet.

Key Insights

  • Tech entrepreneurship: Larry Page co-founded Google with Sergey Brin, driven by his early passion for technology and education in computer science.

  • Leadership transition: Page played a central role in Google's evolution and restructuring into Alphabet, serving as CEO of both companies at different times, emphasizing innovation and corporate agility.

  • Vision for Alphabet: The formation of Alphabet aimed to foster transparency and manage a more complex array of business operations effectively, allowing individual subsidiaries to pursue specialized objectives.

  • Post-Alphabet influence: Even after stepping down as CEO, Page continues to influence technology and innovation, notably in aviation technology through his startups Kitty Hawk and Opener.

Who is Larry Page?

Larry Page, born March 26, 1973, in Michigan, is an American computer scientist and entrepreneur who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in 1998. Page earned a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan in 1995 before joining the doctoral program at Stanford University, where he first met Brin. Both were intrigued by the challenge of extracting meaningful information from the vast amounts of data on the Internet. While working in Page's dorm room at Stanford, they developed a new search engine technology. This technology utilized web users' ranking abilities by tracking the backlinks of websites – that is, the number of other pages linked to them.

Starting Google

To further develop their search engine, Page and Brin secured approximately $1 million in financing from investors, family, and friends. By September 1998, they founded Google, with Page at the helm as CEO. The nascent company was initially set up in Susan Wojcicki's garage in Menlo Park, California, which became their first office. This humble beginning in a garage epitomizes the classic Silicon Valley start-up story. The following year, Google attracted $25 million in venture capital to capitalize on the enormous opportunity in search engine technology that was already then becoming evident. The name "Google" was inspired by the mathematical term "googol," indicative of their vision to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.

In 2001, Page transitioned to the role of President of Products, while Eric Schmidt assumed the position of CEO. Despite these changes, Page and Brin remained deeply engaged in Google's operations. By 2004, the year of Google's IPO, the company was processing 200 million searches daily. Google was valued at $23 billion at its IPO, significantly surpassing expectations and firmly establishing it as one of the most valuable companies in the tech industry.

Creating Alphabet

In August 2015, Google underwent a major restructuring, leading to the creation of Alphabet. Following this, Google and other initiatives then became subsidiaries of Alphabet, with Larry Page serving as CEO of the conglomerate. Although Page stepped down as CEO in December 2019, allowing Sundar Pichai to take over the role, he remained actively involved as a member of the board of directors.

To understand the inception of Alphabet, it's crucial to revisit the roots of Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google with the mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. The company, which started as a search engine, has at this stage evolved into one of the leading tech companies worldwide, having expanded into several advertising arms, cloud computing, hardware, and more.

The creation of Alphabet was driven by Larry Page's vision to restructure in order to foster greater transparency and agility for Google. This was a response to Google's rapid evolution into a more complex organization with a diverse array of focus areas. The idea was to establish a new parent company, under which Google and other ventures would operate as independent entities. This structure aimed to create more focused incentives and enhance accountability for managers at the various subsidiaries.

Further reading: Alphabet's Unstoppable Rise: From Stanford to Global Tech Leader

Larry Page's Role and Vision

Larry Page's leadership was characterized by a deep commitment to innovation and a belief in the power of technology. Under his guidance, Alphabet pursued ambitious projects, from self-driving cars to smart cities, reflecting a commitment to transformative technologies.

Page also empowered the leaders of individual companies and advocated for decentralization, exemplified by the creation of Alphabet. Sundar Pichai, who became CEO of Google, was a notable beneficiary of this approach, gaining the autonomy to guide Google while aligning with Alphabet's broader goals.

Larry Page Beyond Alphabet

In his personal life, Larry Page has been married to Lucinda Southworth since 2007, and they have two children. Regarding his personal interests, he has shown a strong enthusiasm for aviation technology. Through his startups, Kitty Hawk and Opener, he has actively contributed to the field. Kitty Hawk, founded in 2015, initially focused on electric flight and developed a personal electric aircraft called Flyer. This project later evolved into Heaviside – a more conventional-looking, fully autonomous aircraft. Meanwhile, Opener has been developing Blackfly, a vehicle that offers efficient personal travel with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. Both projects reflect Page's commitment to redefining transportation through innovative technology.

Larry Page Net Worth

Although he stepped down from active roles at Alphabet in 2019, Page's influence in the tech world remains significant. As of April 2024, his net worth is estimated at approximately $130 billion, making him one of the richest individuals globally.


Larry Page's journey from a curious, tech-savvy youth to a pioneering entrepreneur and influential figure in the tech industry exemplifies the transformative power of vision and innovation. Co-founding Google and later establishing Alphabet, Page has significantly shaped the digital landscape. His leadership style, characterized by fostering innovation and decentralization, has not only propelled Google and Alphabet to the forefront of technological advancement but also set a benchmark for corporate management and strategic restructuring in complex organizations.

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