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Teachers, friends congratulate new Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Recalling the achievements of new Google Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai, his teachers and friends have sent in their best wishes to the former on bagging the top post in the search engine giant.

Sanat Kumar Ray, a professor at IIT-Kharagpur who taught Pichai, congratulated his pupil on the achievement.

“Being Indians we are really proud of the achievements by Sundar Pichai and our heartfelt congratulations to him and we always wish that through his such hard work he will contribute technologically, give more input to the further prosperity of Google and that way make us happier,” said Ray.

Pichai, a football fan who hails from Tamil Nadu, also holds a master’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

“He was always studious, always to the book. In fact he didn’t even see who is sitting next to him, he will talk if there is anything related to the subject. Science was his passion. I can tell you that his father was his role model, he wanted to become an IIT engineer and he became that,” said A.S. Kumar, a family friend.

Pichai was appointed as head of a “slimmed-down” version of the company on Monday and Google co-founder Larry Page is set to step down as Google’s chief He joined Google just before its 2004 initial public offering and several colleagues who worked with him in the years following said he never seemed anointed for the top job. Instead, names that came up as potential future Google chiefs included longtime product executives Salar Kamangar, Marissa Mayer and Susan Wojcicki.

In 2004, Pichai was one of a small group of product managers, but his responsibilities escalated from working on new versions of the Google tool bar to overseeing the building of Chrome. Chrome’s rise since its 2008 launch to become the world’s dominant browser made Pichai’s reputation, and he started overseeing apps like Gmail. He later became head of Android, Google’s mobile-phone operating system.