Google CEO Sundar Pichai says his family TV is 'not easily accessible' and requires 'activation energy' to watch (GOOG, GOOGL)

Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai

Stephen Lam/Reuters

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently sat down for an interview with the New York Times as part of the publication's series of conversations with top executives about leadership.

  • Pichai told the Times that he tries to limit his kids' screen time at home. The TV in his home isn't easily accessible and requires "activation energy" to watch, the CEO said.

  • Pichai's comments are echoed by many tech executives, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who have revealed in the past that they're strict about how much access they let their kids have to technology.

When Google CEO Sundar Pichai goes home on the weekends, the tech exec tries to cut back on his family's access to technology.

In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, Pichai discussed the role that technology plays in his home life. Even though Pichai sits at the helm of a company on the forefront of cutting-edge technology, he says that his 11-year-old son — who reportedly mines Ethereum — doesn't have a phone.

Pichai said his family has limited access to a television, too. 

"At home, our television is not easily accessible, so that there is 'activation energy' before you can easily go watch TV," Pichai told the Times. "I’m genuinely conflicted, because I see what my kids learn from all this."

Pichai also said that although he makes a concerted effect to limit his own interactions with technology on the weekend, he himself struggles to let go of his devices when he's away from work.

Pichai isn't the only big tech player who is strict in policing his children's technology use. Over the years, tech elites including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have said they limit the amount of screen time their kids have at home.

Read more: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should've been a red flag

In the interview with Pichai, the Times also asked the CEO about growing up in India, the ability of tech companies to police their content, and how Silicon Valley has changed since he first arrived on the tech scene.

Pichai also briefly addressed the employee protests that happened at Google earlier this month over how the company's has dealt with sexual misconduct in the past. Nearly 20,000 employees staged a mass walkout over Google's actions, and Pichai acknowledged that the company "clearly got some things wrong."

The Times interview was published Thursday, hours before Google announced it would be changing its sexual harassment policies to end forced arbitration.

You can read Pichai's full interview over at the New York Times

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