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Google becomes part of Alphabet – and gets a new boss

Sundar Pichai

Google creates a new umbrella company as Sundar Pichai is promoted to Google CEO

Google has announced a massive reorganisation, with the search giant now becoming part of a bigger parent company – Alphabet – and getting a new CEO. Sundar Pichai, long seen as the rising star within Google, will become the company’s new CEO, with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin moving upstairs into Alphabet.

Alphabet Inc will become the umbrella company for Google and its various offshoots. These include Google X (which looks after the self-driving cars, Google Glass and other blue sky projects), Nest (the smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker) and Fiber (the company’s fibre broadband network). Google itself will retain control of YouTube and Android. 

Current Google CEO Larry Page will now become CEO of the parent company, whilst his long-term partner Brin assumes the role of Alphabet president. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt becomes executive chairman of the parent company. 

In a blog post explaining the new structure, Page explains that it’s designed to help Google’s many other ventures flourish outside of the search company. “We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes,” Page writes. “But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.”

Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related [to search],” he adds. “Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed.”

New Google boss

The new Google CEO, Pichai, has been with the company since 2004. He oversaw the development of Gmail and Google Maps, and was the figurehead for the launch of ChromeOS. He was later handed responsibility for Android, now by far the most used mobile operating system in the world.

Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I’ve been tremendously enjoying our work together,” said Page of the new Google CEO. “He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our Internet businesses. Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google. I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations.”

New start

All Google stock will eventually be absorbed into Alphabet, and the parent company will become the publicly traded entity – although it will confusingly retain the GOOGL and GOOG stock tickers.

Even stranger for an internet company, Alphabet won’t have control of the domain, which has already been taken by a business mobility company. Instead, the new company will use the rather cryptic domain. 


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