Sundar Pichai

It's not a huge surprise if you stop for a second to think about it. But Sundar Pichai, who rose from the ranks of the Chrome team to lead both it and Android as senior vice president of Products, will be CEO of Google — now a technical subsidiary of the umbrella "Alphabet" corporation. (Or, rather, it will be once the moves are finalized later this year.)

"It is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google," Alphabet co-CEO Larry Page wrote in the letter announcing the creation of Alphabet. And to be sure, Pichai has very much been the public face of Google the past few years at the Google I/O developer conference, as well as other events throughout the year.

And it's not just about keeping the ship upright, Page said. Pichai will very much be growing Google's portfolio.

"Google itself is also making all sorts of new products," Page said in the letter, "and I know Sundar will always be focused on innovation—continuing to stretch boundaries. I know he deeply cares that we can continue to make big strides on our core mission to organize the world's information."

And Google will still be Google, Page wrote. One Alphabet company may well be vastly different from the next.

"The whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands."