Google co-founder Sergey Brin is one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in tech. It started in 1995 when Brin and fellow computer scientist Larry Page embarked on a project to help improve the way computer users search for information on the Internet. This resulted in the creation of a company called Google, which went from being just another Silicon Valley startup, to being the world’s largest internet corporation.
Today Google is one of the most powerful companies in the world with a monopoly in online search and duopoly (with Facebook) in online advertising. Google has several products that reach over 1 billion users per day including search, maps, YouTube, and Gmail. Brin served as Google's head of technology for 10 years before transitioning to President of Google parent company Alphabet, which he held until 2019. Aside from business, Brin is an advocate and supporter of alternative energy consumption and is trying to solve the world's energy and climate problems through the philanthropic arm Google.org. In addition, Brin has also donated over $100 million to support research into Parkinson's disease. As of January 2021, Brin is the 9th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $75 billion.
Much of Brin's historic success can be directly tied to his experiences at Stanford University, which he entered with a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation. At Stanford, Brin soon authored more than a dozen papers on data mining and pattern extraction for leading academic journals. According to industry lore, he also met Larry Page at orientation and the pair became fast friends. Their similar interests led them to develop the technology for the Google search engine. It was a revolution in how online information search was done. Brin and Page could not find any companies interested in buying their technology, so they both decided to leave Stanford together to start what would become Google.
Stanford and Brin have had a close relationship, both official and organic, since Google was formed during Brin's days as a graduate student at the school. For instance, every year Brin's company donates $1 million to Stanford's Computer Science Department alone. Brin's company has also given a large grant to his alma mater, endowing the Rajeev Motwani Chair in memory of a professor at Stanford who was an early supporter and adviser to Brin. On the other side, Stanford acts as one of the biggest talent pools for Brin's company to select from. Over the years, Brin has even been known to make unannounced visits on the Palo Alto campus. For instance, in 2019, after stepping down from Alphabet, the billionaire appeared for a late-night visit, citing the need to "take a trip down memory lane." That night Brin was accompanied by Larry Page, showing that the Stanford connection remains as strong as ever.