August 11, 2015
In a move that surprised Wall Street, Google created Alphabet Inc., a new publicly traded parent company. Google will be a subsidiary of Alphabet, with Google executive Sundar Pichai as its new CEO. Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will run Alphabet, which will include all of Google’s other ancillary businesses. Brin will also run Google X, the company’s experimental laboratory. Since the announcement was made after the close of trading on Wall Street, Google shares rose 6 percent in after-hours trading.
USA Today reported the reaction on Wall Street; Page revealed the news in a letter included in the regulatory filing on August 10.“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable,” he said. “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,” Page added. Products that will stay part of Google include the Android and Chrome operating systems, YouTube and search.
New ventures under the Alphabet umbrella, says Page, include the company’s efforts in health: “Life Sciences (that works on the glucose sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity). Also mentioned by USA Today is “the Internet of Things gadget maker Nest” and “high-speed fiber optic Internet project Fiber.”
Page’s letter also mentioned two financial businesses: Google Ventures, focusing on venture capital, and Capital, for private equity deals.
USA Today notes that the new corporate structure is “similar to Berkshire Hathaway… Warren Buffet’s massive empire that has a portfolio of disparate businesses.” Page told the Financial Times last year that he aspired to be like Buffet, “overseeing a group of semi-independent leaders building new businesses under the Google umbrella.”