Miguel Helft 2014年10月30日




    虽然这段小插曲有些尴尬,但它很快就被人忘掉了。尽管当时很多人怀疑Chrome能否挑战当时的主流浏览器——IE和火狐,但是Chrome的确很快火了起来。据StatCounter统计,Chrome现在已成为全球第一大浏览器,其市场份额已经超过了IE的两倍。Chrome的成功也为一系列具有重要战略意义的产品铺平了道路,其中包括Chrome OS操作系统、Chromebook笔记本电脑和Chromecast电视棒等。同时它的成功也令皮查伊在谷歌扶摇直上,成为科技行业中晋升最快的新锐人物之一。



    When Google announced that it had built a Web browser on Labor Day in 2008, the event represented something of a coming out party for SundarPichai, a little-known and soft-spoken middle manager at the company. Based on how the launch went, no one would have predicted that six years later, Pichai would be where is today—a clear No. 2 to CEO Larry Page following a management shakeup late last week.

    Indeed, the launch of the Chrome browser was something of a debacle. Google GOOG 0.18% had worked hard behind the scenes to orchestrate a media splash. It had readied talking points to explain why it was reigniting a browser war with Microsoft MSFT -0.48% , and why its erstwhile ally, Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser, shouldn’t worry. As part of it, the company had secretly produced an elaborate, 38-page comic book that explained the unique features of Google’s browser. It was expected to land in the mailboxes of journalists and bloggers on that Tuesday just as they returned from the three-day weekend.

    But the comic books arrived in Germany on Monday, and it was not a holiday there. After a German blogger posted the comic book online, the Chrome team had to scramble to handle the fiasco. Top executives, including Pichai’s boss at the time, Marissa Mayer, were summoned to the Googleplex. After quick but spirited debate, the team decided to move up the announcement by a day. As engineers scrambled to make Chrome available for download from Google’s network of data centers, public relations staff started to alert reporters—most of whom where on holiday—one by one.

    Embarrassing as it was, the snafu was quickly forgotten. Chrome, which launched amid skepticism that it could make inroads against the dominant browsers of the time, Internet Explorer and Firefox, became a runaway hit. It is now the No. 1 browser in the world, with a market share that’s more than twice that of the once dominant Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter. Its success paved the way for a series of related strategically important products including Chrome OS, Chromebooks, and Chromecast. And it became the engine that powered Pichai through one of the fastest corporate ascents in the technology industry.

    Inside Google, however, Pichai had already made his mark as a director of product management for an obscure but important weapon in the company’s arsenal: the Google toolbar. The toolbar was critical because it helped Google make its search engine the default option on IE and Firefox. And Pichai’s role in leading the product as it came under attack from Microsoft, helped cement his standing in the company, as detailed in a Fortune story titled The Dawn of the Chrome Age earlier this year:

    “Chrome had another, less public mission: to defend the search engine that accounts for most of Google’s $59.8 billion in 2013 revenues and $12.9 billion in profits. Since 2000, Google had distributed a browser toolbar that made its search engine the default on IE and Firefox. (The toolbar also allowed Google to track users’ surfing habits.)”

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