Larry Page is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in 1998. Page served as Google’s CEO twice: from 1997 to 2001, before stepping down in favor of Eric Schmidt, and from April 2011 to July 2015 when he became CEO of Alphabet Inc. – the parent company of Google – to focus on delivering “major advancements”. He held the position until December 2019 and currently remains an Alphabet board member, employee, and controlling shareholder.
Born on March 26, 1973, in East Lansing, Michigan, Page’s parents were both computer science professors. Page grew up in a family where computers and technology were always present, which fueled his early interest in computing. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and went on to obtain a Master of Science degree in computer science from Stanford University.
During an interview, Page recollected his childhood home as disorganized, with computers, science, and technology magazines, as well as Popular Science magazines scattered all over the place. This setting allowed him to fully immerse himself in his interests. As a young person, Page was an enthusiastic reader, as he spent a considerable amount of time poring over books and magazines.
According to Nicholas Carlson, a writer, the combination of Page’s home environment and attentive parents encouraged creativity and innovation. While growing up, Page played musical instruments and studied music composition. His parents sent him to Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, where he learned about music.
Page mentioned that his musical training inspired his fascination with speed and impatience in computing. “I feel like music training led to the high-speed legacy of Google for me,” he said in an interview. Page explained that “In music, you’re very cognizant of time. Time is like the primary thing” and that “If you think about it from a music point of view, if you’re a percussionist, you hit something, it’s got to happen in milliseconds, fractions of a second”.
At six years old, Page’s interest in computers began to develop when he was able to tinker with first-generation personal computers that were left lying around by his parents. He was even the first student in his elementary school to submit an assignment typed on a word processor.
His older brother, Carl Victor Page Jr., taught him how to disassemble items, and soon after, Page began taking apart everything in his house to understand how it functioned. He realized at an early age that he had a strong desire to invent things and was interested in technology and business. By the age of 12, he already had the inkling that he would eventually start his own company.
Page, along with Brin, developed the PageRank algorithm, which was the foundation of Google’s search engine technology. The algorithm analyzes links between web pages to determine their relevance and importance, and this approach revolutionized the way people searched for information on the internet. In 1998, the two launched Google as a search engine that quickly became the dominant player in the market. Page served as Google’s CEO from 1998 to 2001, and again from 2011 to 2015.
Under Page’s leadership, Google expanded its operations into a variety of new areas, including email, web analytics, and mobile operating systems. He also oversaw the development of numerous Google products, such as Google Maps, Google Books, and Google News. In addition to his work at Google, Page has invested in a number of other companies and start-ups, including Tesla, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), and Planetary Resources.
He has also invested in various renewable energy technologies, including Tesla Motors, and actively promotes the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric cars and alternative energy investments through Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm. Additionally, he supports the development of aerial vehicles for consumer travel as a strategic backer of the Opener startup.
Moreover, Page has a strong interest in understanding the societal impact of advanced intelligent systems and digital technologies. He believes in utilizing these advancements to create abundance and provide for people’s needs while reducing the workweek and mitigating the negative effects of technological unemployment. To support this vision, he helped establish Singularity University, a transhumanist think-tank that receives funding from Google and offers scholarships to students.
Page has received numerous awards and accolades for his work in the technology industry. In 2002, he was named a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow, and in 2004, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2007, he received an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Michigan. Page has also been listed among Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” several times.
His net worth is estimated to be $83.5 billion in March of 2023.
Larry Page has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including: