In recent years, Mr. Page and Mr. Brin seemed to have lost interest in running the company they founded.
They have largely disappeared from public view, at least as company representatives.
Streamlining management could help Alphabet better respond to the challenges and focus on growing profits, investors said.
"The company is not conventional and continues to make ambitious bets on new technology, especially with our Alphabet structure", they wrote in a new letter. He went on to study in the U.S. at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining Google in 2004. Brin was president of Alphabet.
Indications today are that Google and Alphabet will continue to appear to operate as they have over the past several years, save the adjustment of rank of order for Pichai. While he has run the core Google business for four years, he still reported to Page, Alphabet's chief executive, and Brin, its president. "And Alphabet no longer needs two CEOs and a President".
Now comes word that Page will be stepping down as Alphabet CEO, with Pichai poised to take over CEO duties.
In 2013, Page acknowledged a health condition that affected his vocal cords and a chronic inflammation of his thyroid. In the post, which is uniquely long for a relatively straightforward announcement, both Page and Brin mention they will maintain active roles as Board members, shareholders, and co-founders.
While publicly stepping back, the co-founders still control more than 51% of shares.
Google's stock price increased about 1% to $1,304 per share in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
Pichai is likely to fill a void at the company as it faces antitrust investigations and controversies over privacy and data practices in the United States and elsewhere. Regulators did not take further action, but the company's stance has frustrated investors looking to deeply evaluate the company's performance.
Alphabet has been positioning Pichai as the de facto leader for quite some time.
The duo argued that Pichai was best suited to lead Alphabet going forward: "There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future". Page returned as CEO after that and oversaw Google's expansion into far-flung areas, including high-speed fibre Internet service and longevity research, as well as expensive flops such as its push into social networking.