Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, have announced they are stepping down from running the online giant’s parent company.
The pair will leave their respective roles as Alphabet’s CEO and president but will remain on the company’s board.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai will become Alphabet’s CEO too, a statement said.
Alphabet was created in 2015 as part of a corporate restructuring of Google, which Mr Page and Mr Brin famously founded in a California garage in 1998.
The parent company was intended to make the tech giant’s activities “cleaner and more accountable” as it expanded from internet search into other areas like self-driving cars.
The pair moved from Google to Alphabet when it was formed – saying they were making the jump to focus on starting new initiatives.
But in a blog post on Tuesday, the pair, both aged 46, announced their departure from Alphabet.
A joint letter said they would remain “actively involved as board members, shareholders and co-founders” but said it was the “natural time to simplify our management structure”.
“We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President,” their letter said.
They also declared it was time to “assume the role of proud parents – offering advice and love, but not daily nagging” and insisted there was “no better person” to lead the company into the future than Mr Pichai.
The 47-year-old was born in India, where he studied engineering. He went on to study in the US at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining Google in 2004.
In a statement, he said he was “excited” about the transition and paid tribute to Mr Page and Mr Brin.
“The founders have given all of us an incredible chance to have an impact on the world,” Mr Pichai said. “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.”
Mr page and Brin are ranked the 10th and 14th richest individuals in the world by Forbes,with each of them estimated to be worth about $50bn while the American business magazine ranks Alphabet as the 17th largest public company in the world with an estimated market value of $863bn.