In a memo to staff, Page noted that the changes will create less of a bottleneck and also help him focus his attention on existing and new products. Pichai will also continue to directly manage business and operations, including access and energy (a new unit run by Craig Barratt), Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, legal, finance and business (including ad sales).
However, YouTube is being left out of the centralisation effort, with CEO Susan Wojcicki reporting to Page from the largely independent video unit.
Re/Code cited sources as saying that Page has told the staff that he wants to focus on the "bigger picture".
The move, however, is not designed to make Pichai, who has been adding key Google businesses to his orbit for years, heir apparent to Page, it said. From his beginnings managing Chrome, Pichai has also become more widely recognised outside of Google too. Twitter tried to recruit him several years ago for a key product role.
His name also prominently figured in the search for a new CEO of Microsoft before the software giant picked India-born insider Satya Nadella. Born in Chennai in 1972, Pichai joined Google in 2004. He earlier worked at Applied Materials and also at McKinsey & Co. He attended the Wharton School at the University of Penns