SAN FRANCISCO — The co-founders of Google are stepping down as executives of its parent company, Alphabet, ending a remarkable two decades during which Larry Page and Sergey Brin shaped a startup born in a Silicon Valley garage into one of the world’s largest, most powerful — and, increasingly, most feared — firms in the world.

Sundar Pichai, who has been leading Google as CEO for more than four years, will take on additional duties as Alphabet’s CEO, the position held by Page. The company isn’t filling Brin’s position as president.

Brin and Page met as Stanford University graduate students in 1995 and started the company soon after. What started as a way to catalog the growing internet has now become one of the most powerful companies in the world.

Google dominates online search and digital advertising and makes the world’s most widely used operating system for smartphones, Android. It’s hard to make it through a whole day without using one of Google’s services — ranging from online tools to email, cloud computing systems, phones and smart speaker hardware.

Page and Brin, in announcing the news Tuesday, said the company has “evolved and matured” in the two decades since its founding. Both promised to stay active as board members and shareholders.

Both have been noticeably absent from Google events in the past year.

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