Google announced a significant restructuring overnight, with a new holding company, Alphabet, to hold the search engine and other assets in the technology group.
Google CEO Larry Page will become Alphabet’s CEO, with Sundar Pichai to take over as CEO of Google. Page’s co-founder Sergey Brin takes on the role of Alphabet president. Google chairman Eric Schmidt becomes chairman of Alphabet
Shares in Google will automatically be converted into shares in Alphabet, which will continue to trade under the share ticker symbols GOOG and GOOGL. Google shares were trading up by more than 6% in after-hours trading in New York.
The restructuring appears designed to free up the founders’ time to focus on new products and ideas. “As Sergey and I wrote in the original founders’ letter 11 years ago, ‘Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one,’ said Page in a statement.
“As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make ‘smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses’. From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.
“We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and Android. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.”
Page is worried that Google will slip into a comfortable space in the market in which it no longer challenges itself. “But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant,” he said.
Each business under Alphabet will have its own CEO and management team. Page and Brin will provide support to them “as needed”.
“We will rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well,” Page said.
“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,” he added.
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