But now the reins will be given to fellow Stanford University alumni Mr Pichai.

Mr Pichai, 47, joined Google in 2004, having previously studied at Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania.

In a statement, Mr Pichai said: “The founders have given all of us an incredible chance to have an impact on the world.

“Thanks to them, we have a timeless mission, enduring values, and a culture of collaboration and exploration that makes it exciting to come to work every day.

“It’s a strong foundation on which we will continue to build.

“Can’t wait to see where we go next and look forward to continuing the journey with all of you.”

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