Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced an entirely new corporate structure for the Silicon Valley Internet giant late Monday, with a plan for a new umbrella company dubbed Alphabet Inc. Page will serve as CEO for the company, as he does for Google now, and Brin will take on the role of president.
“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,” Page said in a letter explaining the move Monday. “And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.”
Alphabet will be a collection of Google GOOG, GOOGL and the many companies it has spawned and acquired over the years. The largest part will still be Google, the search engine company that has sprawled to touch many parts of Web users’ lives worldwide, and executive Sundar Pichai will replace Page at the helm of that business.
Google rallied in after-hours trade on the move.
“I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as (Pichai) is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations,” Page wrote.
Along with Google, Alphabet will be in charge businesses like Calico, Google’s biotechnology effort, and the Life Sciences division; the company’s X division, which Page leads to work on his famous “moonshots;” efforts such as Nest and Google Fiber; and the company’s investment arms, Google Ventures and Google Capital. Google could also choose to spin out new companies from the large Google division to be separate companies that trade under the same umbrella corporation.
Each of the separate companies will have its own CEO and run as a separate company, with Page and Brin monitoring from their seats at the head of the Alphabet universe. The two have made against-the-grain corporate-governance decisions before, including an auction-style initial public offering and a stock split that created three classes of Google shares and led to a shareholder lawsuit.
The mechanics of the Alphabet move may be as confusing as Google’s stock split, as the company laid out in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.