SAN FRANCISCO — It’s the end of an internet era: Larry Page is stepping down as head of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and ceding control to Sundar Pichai who will take over as CEO of both, the internet giant said in an announcement Tuesday. 

Page and Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google more than two decades ago while graduate students at Stanford University, will continue as members of Alphabet’s board of directors. They are the company’s two largest individual shareholders but have been increasingly absent from the role of representing Google in public, even as the demands on the leaders of major tech companies intensified.

The surprise news from one of the world’s most powerful technology companies comes as Google has been rocked by criticism from Washington lawmakers and President Trump, growing scrutiny from regulators, rising competition from, internal scandals and unrest within its own ranks.

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