So you thought Google was a sprawling Silicon Valley entity with a frightening amount of power…
…Meet Alphabet. Larry Page just announced this new parent company for Google and all of its various offspring. Speaking for his fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Page called the creation of Alphabet “a very exciting new chapter in the life of Google.” He means that it’s the next step to making the search giant into an even more giant corporation.
The new umbrella company will include Google spinoffs like its health effort, Life Sciences, and longevity research arm, Calico. The mad scientist paradise known as X lab will also become its own company, as will Nest and Fiber. Meanwhile, Ventures, Capital, Sidewalk, and the drone-delivery service Wing will also become separate companies under Alphabet’s umbrella. As for Google itself, the SEC filing states, “Under the new operating structure, its main Google business will include search, ads, maps, apps, YouTube and Android and the related technical infrastructure (the ‘Google business’).”
For now, Alphabet’s creation appears to be a restructuring that will affect Google’s growth going forward. Page explained that Google will be slimmed down as spinoffs become their own companies. He also announced that Sundar Pichai—the former head of Android, Chrome, and Apps—will become CEO of Google. Page and Brin will ascend to the top two positions at Alphabet as the parent company’s CEO and President, respectively. Google stock will become Alphabet stock, and everyone will be confused about this means for a little while.
Speaking of confused, what’s up with that name? Page explains:
We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for!
Okay! So Alphabet implies control over all communication and the future of business growth. Got it. Good.