Trending: The thrill is gone for Larry and Sergey – and why you shouldn‘t believe people who say Google won‘t change

Google founders Larry Page (L) Sergey Brin talk with members of the media at Google Press Day 2006 May 10, 2006 in Mountain View, CaliforniaGetty/Justin Sullivan


Welcome back to Trending, the newsletter where we highlight the biggest tech stories of the week. I‘m Alexei Oreskovic, Business Insider‘s West Coast bureau chief, global tech editor, and your ever-humble servant.

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This week: The thrill is gone for Larry and Sergey

If you thought the holiday season would mean a slowdown in tech news, think again.

On Tuesday, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the wonder duo that founded Google 21 years ago, dropped a bombshell and announced that they were calling it quits.

It‘s hard to blame them for wanting to move on. Being a tech CEO today is not the same plum gig it was a decade ago. In the good old days, Page and Brin enjoyed rock-star treatment, giving interviews in Playboy magazine and speaking to adoring crowds at tech conferences. Today, tech CEOs are increasingly viewed as super villains – perennial targets for politicians, activists, and even ordinary consumers who are no longer mesmerized by “moonshots,” but concerned about how tech is affecting privacy and democracy.

For Larry and Sergey, the thrill is gone.

And as Rob Price writes, they‘re handing over the reins to Sundar Pichai during one of the most tumultuous times in the company‘s history, . Among these, widespread employee unrest within the company and an ugly track record of tolerance for sexual misconduct by top executives.

A lot of observers point out that Larry and Sergey still control the majority of the voting shares. That‘s true. But don‘t underestimate the impact of their departure. For the first time in Google‘s history, the principles that the founders based the company on are no longer embodied in day-to-day management. That‘s going to affect things like privacy and employee relations, even if it the changes happen gradually.

And some changes could happen sooner. As Pichai moves to put his imprint on the company, there are also several obvious areas he could focus on right away,

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As for Larry and Sergey, they‘ve kept mum about what they‘ll do next. But Benjamin Pimentel in the future given their interests and projects in everything from flying cars to AI to philanthropy.

“They surely are not going to retire to paddle around their swimming pools,” longtime tech futurist and Stanford professor Paul Saffo tells Pimentel. “Both of these guys have heads full of ideas and plenty of more startups in them.”

Read the full story here:


Amazon‘s language police and the Bezos philosophy to political capital

In non-Google news, Amazon hosted its giant cloud conference in Las Vegas this week.

As Rosalie Chan reports, Amazon‘s cloud business has some very strict rules about what kind of language its partners can use at the conference – with special staff patrolling the show floor to deal with any transgressors who use verboten terms like “multi-cloud” in their marketing material.

But in a sign of the changing cloud market, Terms like “multi-cloud” and “hybrid-cloud” are now OK in certain cases.

The change may have something to do with Amazon officially launching its own hybrid cloud product. But after Amazon‘s humbling loss to Microsoft for the Pentagon‘s massive $10 billion JEDI cloud contract earlier this year, Amazon

Meanwhile, Eugene Kim got hold of Unlike some of his tech CEO counterparts, Bezos does not speak to the troops very often. During the meeting, which took place last month, Bezos responded to questions about the company‘s political contributions – including to Republican lawmakers that some employees feel don‘t share Amazon‘s values.

“You have to be able to work with people who don‘t agree with you on everything,” Bezos told employees.

Read the full story here:

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Here are some other tech highlights:

And more good stuff from across the BI newsroom:

That‘s going to do it for this week.

Thanks for reading, and remember, if you like this newsletter, .

– Alexei


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