Real Leaders

Sergey Brin, Co-founder of Google

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is a Russian-born American computer scientist, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist who, together with Larry Page, he co-founded Google. Brin is also the President of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc.

As of July 2017, Brin is the 12th richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$45 billion.

Brin immigrated to the United States with his family from the Soviet Union at the age of six. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps by studying mathematics, as well as computer science. After graduation, he enrolled in Stanford University to acquire a Ph.D. in computer science, where he met Page. They crammed their dormitory room with inexpensive computers and applied Brin’s data mining system to build a web search engine. The program became popular at Stanford, and they suspended their Ph.D. studies to start up Google in a rented garage.

The Economist referred to Brin as an “Enlightenment Man”, and as someone who believes that “knowledge is always good, and certainly always better than ignorance”, a philosophy that is summed up by Google’s mission statement, “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,”and the unofficial and sometimes controversial motto, “Don’t be evil”.

In 2004, he and Page were named “Persons of the Week” by ABC World News Tonight, and in 2005 he was nominated to be one of the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leaders.” In June 2008, Brin invested $4.5 million in Space Adventures, the Virginia-based space tourism company. 

Brin was also involved in the Google driverless car project. In September 2012, at the signing of the California Driverless Vehicle Bill, Brin predicted that within five years, robotic cars would be available to the general public.


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