Sergey Brin is a billionaire and one half of the duo that founded Google.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded and launched Google from a dorm room near Stanford University.Since then, Google has become the world’s most popular search engine and the company has evolved.Here’s everything you need to know about Brin, who is now worth about $134 billion.

Sergey Brin has amassed a multi-billion-dollar fortune after co-founding Google.

Brin teamed up with Larry Page at university in 1998 to launch what would become one of the world’s most powerful search engines. Brin also spearheaded many of Google’s innovative projects beyond search before stepping down from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in 2019.

But his influence is still clear. Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s current CEO, reportedly began meeting with Brin and Page throughout 2023 to strategize the development of Google’s Gemini to rival OpenAI’s chatGPT.

Outside his career, Brin enjoys extreme sports and attending music festival Burning Man. He has been married twice; he filed for divorce from his second wife in January 2022.

Brin’s early life

Sergey Brin’s father is a former math professor at the University of Maryland.

Brin might have a sizable net worth now, valued at $134 billion, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but the tech mogul comes from humble beginnings. He was born in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1973.

Brin’s father was an economist who had bigger aspirations than the USSR allowed at that time. His father dreamed of being an astrophysicist, but his Jewish background and the USSR’s antisemitism kept him from those ambitions.

Brin’s family managed to get exit visas and flee the country when Brin was 6. But his family’s stressful, troubled experience left him with a lasting appreciation for democracy and freedom.

The Brin family ended up in Maryland, where the Google cofounder was enrolled in a Montessori school — like Larry Page — that emphasized independence and fostering creativity.

Brin didn’t revisit Moscow until he was 17, during a class trip led by his father. “Thank you for taking us all out of Russia,” Brin told his dad, a former math professor at the University of Maryland.

Spurred on by a blossoming defiant streak, he threw pebbles at a police car while in Russia and almost got in serious trouble when the officers inside noticed.

Brin and Larry Page create Google

Brin met Page at Stanford University before the pair dropped out to focus on Google.

Brin earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science at the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford.

There, his love of high-adrenaline exercise flourished: he tried out skating, skiing, gymnastics, and even trapeze.

Brin met Google cofounder Larry Page at Stanford in 1995.

The two reportedly found each other “obnoxious” at first, but they later became classmates and close friends who geeked out about computer science.

Brin and Page started collaborating in 1996 on a search engine they initially called BackRub.

Before Google, Brin was more focused on making an algorithm for personalized movie recommendations or finding a way to automatically detect copyright infringement cases.

Brin’s résumé from back in 1996, as he was working toward his Ph.D. at Stanford, is still available online.

The pair registered the domain Google.com in September 1997. Brin and Page had a mission to organize the world’s information and dropped out of Stanford the following year to work on their search engine. The rest, as we now know, is history.

That same year, the pair created the first Google Doodle.

Both Brin and Page are “burners,” meaning they’re devout fans and attendees of Burning Man, the freewheeling art festival in the middle of the Nevada desert. They made the first Google Doodle to let people know they weren’t around to do damage control if the site broke while they were at the event.

When the time came to find an outside CEO for Google, they approved the hire of Eric Schmidt in 2001 after learning he had attended the festival. They then brought Schmidt to Burning Man to “see how he would do.”

Brin led Google’s ambitious moonshot projects

Brin has overseen an array of futuristic projects that didn’t always land.

Some of Brin’s projects at Google include self-driving cars now known as Waymo, smart contact lenses, and smart glasses.

As Google ballooned from simply a search engine to a massive corporation with dozens of diverse projects, Brin became the mastermind behind some of its most ambitious ones as the head of Google X, the company’s innovative moonshot factory.

Brin was a big proponent of Google Glass — Google’s failed attempt at launching smart glasses.

For a long time, you couldn’t spot Brin without the computerized Google Glass smart glasses.

Brin reportedly played a big role in the product’s rocky launch in 2012, but famously, it was rushed into the world before it was ready for public scrutiny.

Brin also worked on Google’s now-dismantled social network, Google Plus.

He admitted onstage in 2014 that he should have never worked on it because he’s “kind of a weirdo” and not very social.

“It was probably a mistake for me to be working on anything tangentially related to social to begin with,” Brin said in 2014.

He has maintained an eclectic presence at Google since its beginning.

Brin’s fashion style is well-known around the Google campus

Brin was often seen around the Google campus in activewear.

Even as Google grew into a multibillion-dollar company, Brin maintained the freewheeling spirit of the early days. Around Googleplex, Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, Brin typically wore workout clothes and Vibram barefoot shoes, and he was frequently seen zipping around the office on Rollerblades, doing yoga stretches during meetings, or walking around on his hands for fun.

The Economist once dubbed Brin the “Enlightenment Man” for his dedication to using reason and science to solve huge world problems.

Brin’s personal life

Anne Wojcicki and Sergey Brin have two children together, whose last names are Wojin.

In 2007, Brin married Anne Wojcicki, the CEO of the genetics company 23andMe.

She’s the sister of early Google employee — and former YouTube CEO — Susan Wojcicki. For the wedding, the couple invited guests to a secret location in the Bahamas and wore bathing suits for the ceremony, which reportedly took place on a sandbar.

Brin and Wojcicki have two children together. Both kids have the last name Wojin, a portmanteau of their parents’ last names.

Parkinson’s runs in Brin’s family, so he does what he can to lower his likelihood of getting the disease. Brin and Wojcicki donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charity, including to Parkinson’s research. A test through 23andMe revealed that Brin has a genetic mutation that makes him predisposed to the disease.

To lower his chances of developing it, Brin started exercising even more intensely and drinking green tea twice a day. Due to his health regimen and scientific progress, he estimated in 2010 that he now has only about a 10% chance of getting the disease.

Brin’s marriage to Wojcicki hit the rocks in 2013, and the couple separated. Around the time of his separation with Wojcicki, Brin had reportedly started an affair with a Google employee who was also in a relationship with another high-level Google executive at the same time.

Brin and Wojcicki officially finalized their divorce in June 2015 after eight years of marriage.

The 2018 book “Valley of Genius” described Brin as “the Google playboy” during the company’s early days.

“He was known for getting his fingers caught in the cookie jar with employees that worked for the company in the masseuse room,” a former employee said. “He got around.”

In 2018, Brin married Nicole Shanahan, a lawyer and the founder of a legal-tech startup. The couple met in 2015 at a yoga retreat. They had a baby girl together the same year they wed.

Brin’s divorce from Shanahan was finalized in September 2023.

Four years later, Brin filed for divorce from Shanahan. The filing came after rumors swirled that his wife at the time was having an affair with Elon Musk, the billionaire Tesla CEO.

Their divorce was finalized in 2023. Both Musk and Shanahan have denied the cheating allegations.

Brin stepped down from his role as Alphabet president in 2019

Google laid off hundreds of staff.

In August 2015, Brin’s title got a major upgrade when Google underwent a major restructuring.

Brin transitioned from director of special projects at the moonshot division, Google X, to become the president of Alphabet, Google’s new parent company. Page was named Alphabet’s CEO.

Then, in December 2019, Brin and Page shocked the world: They announced in a joint statement that they were stepping down from their respective roles at Alphabet.

Since leaving, Brin has stayed busy with exercising, philanthropy, and an airship startup.

“We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company,” they wrote. Both Page and Brin remain members of Alphabet’s board of directors.

Brin’s life outside Alphabet

Brin’s company LTA Research got clearance to begin test flights for its Pathfinder 1 airship.

Meanwhile, Brin and Page had become billionaires several times over.

In 2005, they bought a 50-person plane together.

Brin owns real estate in both New York City and California.

He’s invested a lot of money in Los Altos, where he owns property, through a real estate investment firm called Passerelle Investment Co. The investments reportedly went toward helping mom-and-pop, kid-friendly stores and cafés spring up or stay in business.

Brin has tried to learn several Olympic sports, runs a family foundation supporting Parkinson’s research and education, and has been working on an airship startup called LTA Research.

In 2023, the company received an airworthiness certificate for its Pathfinder 1 airship to begin test flights. The massive vessel is almost 400 feet long and about 66 feet wide at its widest point.

And Brin is no stranger to flashy modes of transportation. The mogul owns a collection of watercraft that his friends call the “Fly Fleet.” It includes a 40-meter superyacht called Butterfly and 73-meter megayacht known as Dragonfly. He bought Dragonfly in 2011 for $80 million.

Brin was also been rumored to be writing a physics textbook in 2022, but there’s no sign it’s been published yet.

Brin and Page’s return to Google

Google’s Gemini drew criticism for its images and text generation.

At the beginning of 2023, reports emerged that Alphabet tapped Brin and Page to help Google compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT in the race to dominate the artificial intelligence space.

By the end of the year, Google confirmed that Brin was a key factor in bringing its AI model Gemini to fruition. In the white paper explaining Gemini’s capabilities, Brin is listed as a “core contributor.”

When he spoke at San Francisco’s AGI House in March, Brin said he “kind of came out of retirement just because the trajectory of AI is so exciting.”

He also addressed criticism of Gemini by defending the text generation feature but conceding that Google “definitely messed up on the image generation.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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