Larry Page to Sundar Pichai is like the Lion King sunrise meme: "Everything you see? One day all of this will be yours..."
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Lions!
One story a source told us summed up that idea perfectly.
About eight months ago there was a planning meeting with a bunch of VPs and directors from across products to discuss several secret projects, and they were all squabbling.
Then Larry Page walked in. He started talking about abstract concepts and big ideas unrelated to the established engineering roadmap and introducing aspects the teams hadn't expected. Everyone was shocked into silence, and Page walked out without getting a single question.
A minute later, Pichai walked in and broke everything down: "I talked to Larry, and I think what he means is this ..."
After that meeting concluded, Pichai hopped between the different teams and helped them figure out how they would move forward on the projects together.
"He's like the Aaron to Larry's Moses," our source says, meaning that Pichai often acted as a spokesman for Page. By not only interpreting Page's vision but then coordinating efforts between groups, Pichai may have already been stepping into his role before it was officially given to him.
"He's particularly good at managing Larry," another source agreed. "He has a great ability to listen to what Larry wants to have done, and either convincing him that that's actually happening by saying 'Here's how it's getting done,' or by going out and making sure it gets done."
More about the Google re-org of Sundar Pichai to product czar, by Liz Gannes and Kara Swisher:
The rest of Google's product execs:
Most are longtime Google loyalists, including: Alan Eustace in research (who was literally on top of the world this very morning breaking the high-altitude parachuting record); Amit Singhal in search; Dave Besbris in social; Jen Fitzpatrick in maps (this was a recent promotion, but she’s been at the company since 1999); Sridhar Ramaswamy on ads and commerce; and Urs Hölzle on technical infrastructure.