Though Prabhakar Raghavan recoils at hearing himself described as "the CEO of Google," the 60-year-old engineer turned executive is as close to being that person as one could be. He runs search, ads, commerce, maps, payments, and Google Assistant, businesses that bring in the lion's share of the company's revenue. And he's paid like a CEO—last year the company paid him $55 million in salary and stock.
In some ways, Raghavan would seem in the mold of his boss, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. Both were born in southeastern India and attended the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, which has become a sort of finishing school for future US tech executives. (Raghavan entered the US pipeline with a PhD from UC Berkeley.) But while Pichai focused on a management career—he has an MBA and once worked at McKinsey—Raghavan is known as a world-class computer scientist who has authored definitive texts in the field.
He was publishing on information retrieval well before Larry Page and Sergey Brin thought of tackling the problem. Indeed, while teaching at Stanford in the 1990s, he had spirited discussions with the pair of grad students about the wisdom of starting a company based on web search. Instead of joining them, Raghavan wound up heading the research division at Yahoo.
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