The company first announced in August that it would create a new parent company called Alphabet, a move that some took to be a joke at first. Under the arrangement, Google will be just one — albeit by far the largest — of a suite of independent businesses operating under the Alphabet umbrella.
Versions of this corporate reorganization had been discussed internally for at least four years, according to multiple Google insiders. The goal: to free Google cofounder and CEO Larry Page up from running the business day-to-day so he could brainstorm the next Google.
“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet,” Larry Page, Google’s cofounder, wrote in an announcement at the time. Page, previously the CEO of Google, forfeited that role to longtime executive Sundar Pichai and took over as CEO of Alphabet.
Sources say it also affords more C-suite positions to hold on to top talent as well as a greater level of independence to grow (and spin off) new businesses and make room to acquire multi-billion dollar companies.
The Alphabet conglomerate currently includes Nest, the smarthome device maker it acquired; Google X, its so-called “moonshot” division; Google Ventures and Google Capital, its early and late-stage venture capital arms; Calico, its life extension venture; Life Sciences (self explanatory); and Sidewalk Labs, focused on improving urban life. And, of course, Google.
More may be on the way: Google is reportedlyplanning to break out its robotics efforts into a separate division within Alphabet.
At least some changes may already be visible to the public: namely, Google’s redesigned logo. As one source told us previously, Google was hesitant to make big changes to its iconic logo while Page was CEO. But with Pichai in charge, the pitch to update its logo for the era of smaller screens was an easier sell.
Not much will change on Friday for ordinary folks. On Wall Street, shares of Google will still trade with the tickers GOOG and GOOGL, following last year’s stock split, but the corporate name will now be listed as Alphabet Class A Common Stock and Alphabet Class C Capital Stock.
The biggest changes are yet to come.