Google just dropped some major news in that exec Sundar Pichai is taking over as CEO of the company, which is becoming one of many companies under a new parent company called Alphabet, which will be run by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Page is CEO of Alphabet and Brin is President. The basic gist is that the co-founders will oversee all the companies, which will each have their own CEOs. This includes Google itself, which will be “slightly slimmed down”.
Obviously Page explains all of this a lot better than I can, so be sure to read the full announcement, but here’s the real meat of it:
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.
Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things. Alphabet will also include our X lab, which incubates new efforts like Wing, our drone delivery effort. We are also stoked about growing our investment arms, Ventures and Capital, as part of this new structure.
Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.
Wow. Didn’t see that coming late in the afternoon.
I think the main initial takeaway here is that Google is no longer the umbrella over all of the company’s “moonshot” type projects, which should make investors more comfortable. Google’s core businesses will now be one of the things under this umbrella, while separate from things like robots, contact lenses, driving cars, anti-aging, etc.
Obviously, we’ll be learning much more about all of this soon.
You can find the official Alphabet site at abc.xyz. There’s not much there yet beyond Page’s letter.
Shares immediately began to skyrocket in after hours trading directly following the announcement.
Image via Google…err…Alphabet.