Google just pressed the reset button, completely overhauling its corporate structure through the formation of a brand new parent company called Alphabet.
This change comes nearly 20 years after cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first launched Google from a dorm room in Stanford.
It’s been a wild ride for both of them since, but Brin’s history is especially intriguing.
Learn more about the man behind the world’s most popular search engine:
With the announcement of Alphabet, Brin got a title upgrade, transitioning from overseeing the moonshot factory Google X as 'director of special projects' to being president of the new parent company.
At the time, his father Michael dreamed of being an astrophysicist, but anti-Semitism in Soviet Russia coupled with his Jewish background kept him from those ambitions and even made it hard for him to find work as a mathematician -- he ended up working as an economist for a government planning agency, crunching numbers for Soviet propaganda. The family managed to get exit visas and flee the USSR when Sergey was six, but his family's stressful, troubled experience left the Google cofounder with a lasting appreciation for democracy and freedom.
Brin first re-visted Moscow when he was 17 on a class trip led by his father. 'Thank you for taking us all out of Russia,' he told Michael Brin solemnly. Spurred by a blossoming defiant streak, he threw pebbles at a police car, almost getting in serious trouble when the officers inside noticed.
Eventually, Brin earned his bachelor's in mathematics and computer science at the University of Maryland, and then flew west to Stanford to get his PhD. There, his love of high-adrenaline exercise flourished, as he tried out skating, skiing, gymnastics, and even trapeze.
At Stanford, Brin met Larry Page in 1995. The two became close friends, geeking out about computer science. They started collaborating on a search engine they initially called BackRub.
They registered the domain Google.com in September 1997 with the mission to organise the world's information. The rest is history.
Both Brin and Page are 'burners,' meaning they're devout fans of Burning Man, the free-wheeling art festival in the middle of the Nevada desert. They created the first Google Doodle ever in 1998 to let people know they weren't around to do damage control if the site broke. They eventually only approved the hire of former CEO Eric Schmidt after they heard he loved Burning Man, too.