Google, probably one of the most well-known brand names in all the world, has decided to change things up today, with an announcement from CEO Larry Page that the company is going to be reorganized under the umbrella of a bigger corporation known as “Alphabet.”
The announcement was posted on the Official Google Blog this afternoon by Page, and also on what appears to be the Alphabet homepage.
“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google,” writes Page. “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.”
He gives the example of “far-afield” Google companies like its Life Sciences division that is working on glucose-sensing contact lenses. The idea is that these sorts of businesses can be run better if they’re under the umbrella of a larger company, rather than seen as part of the Google Internet business.
“In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with [co-founder Sergey Brin] and me in service to them as needed,” explains Page. “We will rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well.”
Each smaller company will have its own CEO, while Page will act as the CEO of Alphabet and Brin as its president. Sundar Pichai will be the CEO of Google under the Alphabet reorganization.
“He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our Internet businesses,” says Page of Pichai’s promotion. “Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company.”
As for the Name, Page explains that Alphabet “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!”
He also acknowledges the investment in-joke with “Alpha” referring to investment return above benchmark.
While Alphabet will be the overarching brand name for the whole company, Page says he doesn’t intend for it to be the consumer-facing name that you see on products.
“[T]he whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands,” he says.
Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google, which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary, will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights.
Alphabet stock will continue to trade as GOOGL and GOOG.