Google, LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Five technology companies in the U.S. information technology industry, alongside Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.
Google was founded in September 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a California privately held company on September 4, 1998, in California. Google was then reincorporated in Delaware on October 22, 2002. An initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page, who became the CEO of Alphabet.
The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine. It offers services designed for work and productivity, email, scheduling and time management, cloud storage, instant messaging and video chat, language translation, mapping and navigation, podcast hosting, video sharing, blog publishing, note-taking, and photo organizing and editing. The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and it released multiple hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel line of smartphones, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet carrier.