In classic tech startup fashion, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in a friend's garage. Google is now a subsidiary of holding company Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, and GOOGL). It is the world’s most-used search engine and one of the greatest entrepreneurial success stories in history. Alphabet released Q4 2018 earnings on February 4, 2019. The global tech giant reported revenues of $39.3 billion for the quarter and earnings per share of $12.77, roughly a 31% increase over the previous year.

The two ticker symbols for Google represent two different classes of shares, A and C: Class A shares have voting privileges, while those with Class C shares do not. The company also issues Class B shares, which carry 10 votes each that are only owned by insiders and are not traded on the market. 

Larry Page

Larry Page is the co-founder of Google and board member of Alphabet. He served as CEO until December 3, 2019, when he stepped down in favor of Google CEO, Sundar Pichai.

An advocate of clean energy, Page owns a number of homes using fuel cells, geothermal energy, and rainwater capture systems. According to Page's most recent filing with the SEC on Dec. 31, 2017, the Alphabet CEO owns 20 million Class C shares and 20.0 million Class B shares of Alphabet. Page is considered one of the wealthiest people in the United States with a net worth of $55.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Key Takeaways

  • Google was founded in the co-founder's garage.
  • These original founders remain some of the largest individual shareholders in Google and its parent entity, Alphabet, Inc., and have become billionaires.

Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin is a co-founder of Google and board member of Alphabet. He served as president of Alphabet until December 3, 2019. Born in Russia, Sergey Brin and his family emigrated to the United States in 1979 when he was six. While completing his doctorate in computer science from Stanford, he met Larry Page. As part of a research project, the pair developed an early version of Google. By 1998, the two founded Google and became billionaires when the company had its initial public offering in 2004.

As of his Brin's latest filing with the SEC on Nov. 29, 2018, the Alphabet president owns 19.3 million Class C shares, 35,300 Class A shares, and 35,300 Class B shares. Brin has a net worth of $54.1 billion according to Forbes.

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt served as the chief executive officer of Google for 10 years, from 2001 to 2011. In 2017, Schmidt announced he would be stepping down from his position as executive chairman of Alphabet, a position he held since leaving the CEO role in 2011. Schmidt served as the Chairman of the White House Defense Innovation Advisory Board and is now a technical advisor for the board.

Per a Nov. 26, 2018, filing with the SEC, Schmidt directly owns 1.29 million Class C Capital shares, 1.19 million Class B shares, 40,934 Class A shares, and 10,983 Class A Google shares. Schmidt also indirectly owns 2.82 million Class C Capital shares and 2.91 million Class B shares through family trusts. Schmidt has a net worth of $13.8 billion according to Forbes.

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai was appointed as CEO of Alphabet and its subsidiary Google in December 3, 2019. Before that he had served as CEO of Google since October 2015. Prior to joining Google, Pichai worked in Applied Materials, McKinsey & Company, and earned an MBA from Wharton. Before being appointed to the head of the company, Pichai served as senior vice president of products and prior to that was overseeing the Android operating system.

On Dec. 11, 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified before the U.S. Congress in a wide-range hearing about data breaches, misinformation campaigns, and concerns about working with China. The hearing is almost certainly a result of Pichai's absence in Congress earlier this year when the chief executive declined to testify alongside Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg during a Senate Intelligence committee meeting.

Pichai owns 89,727 Class C Capital shares, 85,415 Class C Google shares, and 6,317 Class A Google Shares according to his most recent filing with the SEC on Nov. 26, 2018.

John Doerr

John Doerr serves as chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins (formerly Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers). He joined the firm way back in 1980. Before that, he worked at Intel and co-founded two companies. Over the years, Kleiner Perkins has backed a number of tech titans, including Amazon, AOL, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Google, Netscape, and Twitter.

Doerr led Kleiner Perkins into Google in 1999, investing $12.5 million and transforming it into billions when Google went public in 2004. The venture capital chairman directly holds 3,485 Class A shares and 5,143 Class C Capital shares according to a Nov. 15, 2018 filing with the SEC. Doerr also indirectly holds 791,195 Class C Capital shares and 118,653 Class A shares through the Vallejo Ventures Trust and The Benificus Foundation. Doerr has a net worth of $7.7 billion according to Forbes.