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Alphabet chief Pichai labored in trenches but rose to defend search giant

FILE PHOTO: Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, during a meeting with U.S. President Biden and India's Prime Minister Modi in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who testified on Monday in Washington to defend Google against allegations it broke antitrust law, replaced company co-founder Larry Page as CEO of parent Alphabet in 2019 as regulatory concern about Big Tech was heading toward a fever pitch.

Here are some key facts about Pichai:

* Born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India on June 10, 1972

* An alumnus of Wharton business school, Stanford University and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

* Worked at McKinsey & Co before Google

* Was hired by Google as a product engineer in April 2004

* Projects included using the URL bar to search as well as scaling up Google's Chrome browser, which launched in 2008, as a way to attract more queries to Google

* Pichai took over the Android business from that group's founder, Andy Rubin, managing the market-leading smartphone operating system globally

* He is also credited with the development of some of the company's most successful cloud-based apps, such as Gmail

* In 2014, then-Chief Executive Page put Pichai, one of his key lieutenants, in charge of the internet company's search, maps, Google+, commerce, advertising and infrastructure. The move was done to give Page fewer direct reports and product units to oversee.

* Pichai became CEO of Google in 2015 and all of Alphabet in 2019.

* Alphabet, Google's parent company, has a long list of other businesses. These include maps and Nest smart thermostats. Since Pichai became CEO, it acquired Fitbit in 2021 and the security company Mandiant in 2022.

* In February, Pichai introduced the artificial intelligence service Bard.

* Pichai's total compensation was about $226 million in 2022, more than 800 times the median employee's pay, the company said in a securities filing in April.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Jonathan Oatis)