Google Inc. was born as a company that did Internet search. Over time, it has broadened its interests into everything from drones to pharmaceuticals to venture capital.
[The New York Times / CONOR DAUGHERTY]
The company unveiled a sweeping reorganization that separates its highly profitable search and advertising business by creating a holding company that will manage each of its growing cast of businesses, including those building robots and self-driving cars, helping to cure disease, developing nanoparticles and extending Internet connectivity via balloons.
[The Wall Street Journal / ALISTAIR BARR and ROLFE WINKLER]
As part of the change, the company that used to be called Google is going to become a new holding company called Alphabet.
[Business Insider / MATT ROSOFF]
While Alphabet may be an unusual choice for a multibillion-dollar Web conglomerate, it’s more mundane than the company’s name, which was considered odd before it become a household term. Page and Brin adopted Google, a misspelling of the large number Googol (1 followed by 100 zeroes), when they founded the Web-search company in 1998.
[Bloomberg Business / BRIAN WOMACK]
What is Alphabet? Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity).
Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related. Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed.
We will rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well. We’ll also make sure we have a great CEO for each business, and we’ll determine their compensation. In addition, with this new structure we plan to implement segment reporting for our Q4 results, where Google financials will be provided separately than those for the rest of Alphabet businesses as a whole.
This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google. A key part of this is Sundar Pichai. Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I’ve been tremendously enjoying our work together. He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our Internet businesses. Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google. I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations.
I have been spending quite a bit of time with Sundar, helping him and the company in any way I can, and I will of course continue to do that. Google itself is also making all sorts of new products, and I know Sundar will always be focused on innovation — continuing to stretch boundaries. I know he deeply cares that we can continue to make big strides on our core mission to organize the world’s information. Recent launches like Google Photos and Google Now using machine learning are amazing progress. Google also has some services that are run with their own identity, like YouTube. Susan is doing a great job as CEO, running a strong brand and driving incredible growth.
— Google Official Blog.