Alphabet is a new umbrella company that houses all of the previous Google businesses.
This almost makes it sound like Google has morphed into Resident Evil’s ‘Umbrella Corporation’ where ‘our business is life itself’.
Of course, with Google being a company that famously said ‘Don’t be evil’, being Resident Evil’s Umbrella Corporation just won’t do.
So, it’s Alphabet instead, a name that sounds unsexy and mundane, but which has already become one of the planet’s most important companies, and a descriptor for what Google knows about you: just about every damn thing there is to know, and alphabetised at that.
New Alphabet CEO Larry Page explained it all in a blog post at the ‘Official Google Blog’ entitled ‘G is for Google’.
Talking up the company’s billion-plus users across successes like ‘Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and Android’, Page promises ‘we are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.’
So, what Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are doing is creating a new company called Alphabet, with the snazzy URL of https://abc.xyz, with Page as CEO and Brin as President.
Page then answers the question as to what Alphabet actually is, which is ‘mostly a collection of companies’ of which the largest is still Google.
Google will continue to host search, and other Google properties such as YouTube, Google Photos, Google Now and others, with Sundar Pichai promoted to the CEO of this new, slimmed down Google.
Alphabet will contain everything else - Ventures, Capital, Life Sciences, Calico, X lab, Wing and all those other weird and wonderful Google projects that are completely outside of the purview of search.
Page explained that ‘Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet’ and the ‘two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.’
So, that’s it. Google splits itself into two while not really splitting at all - Google is still Google and instead of a giant company called Google owning everything, a giant company called Alphabet owns everything.
Whether this move will be enough to keep the Europeans that want to break Google up happy is yet to be seen, as is whether there are any tax advantages to be had.
Until then, there’s a new Alphabet in town, and it looks like we’re all going to have to learn it (or learn to like it).