There are some press releases that make you check to be sure that it’s not April 1, but no: Google says it’s re-organizing itself into a company called Alphabet. Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be CEO and president, respectively. Sundar Pichai, whose star has been rising rapidly at Google, becomes CEO of Google itself.
The idea of Alphabet is to break out the moon-shot stuff out of Google into their own companies, each with its own CEO. So Google is one unit, as is the X Lab, as is the investment business, as are the Life Sciences and Calico ventures. Stock in Google will become stock in Alphabet, unchanged in structure, class, or stock symbol.
No mention was made of the hardware products run by Tony Fadell, which include the Nest products and the still-incubating Glass. They, presumably, will stay with Google. Ditto for Android. But maybe not. It’s an interesting thought exercise to consider what businesses are core to Google (like search and search advertising) and what isn’t (Android?) and what’s close enough that it might be core (YouTube?), and which might benefit from their own CEOs.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, was not mentioned in the press release, which is pretty interesting in its own right.
One more thing: if you want to look at the press release on Alphabet’s site, you’d better do it in Chrome; it doesn’t load in Safari — as you may have already discovered.
[UPDATE: Danny Sullivan at Search Marketing Land points to the Form 8-K that Google filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It says Nest — the home of Glass — will be a separate operating company under Alphabet, and that Schmidt will become Executive Chairman of Alphabet, moving upstairs along with Page and Brin.]