Google is well-known for its sprawling range of ventures, from YouTube to Android to glucose-sensing contact lenses to self-driving cars to search. Even with that diverse group of ventures, it seems CEO Larry Page felt that it was time for a shake-up. As of today, Google is just one business owned by Alphabet, a new company headed by Page and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The goal of this new management structure is to make that family of companies "cleaner and more accountable," according to Page's statement introducing Alphabet.
Alphabet is "mostly a family of companies," foremost of which is a "slimmed down" Google led by new CEO Sundar Pichai, who formerly served as the company's product chief. In that role, Pichai controlled virtually all of Google's household-name products, from Maps to Chrome to Android. Ventures that are only weakly related to Google's "main Internet products," like the aforementioned glucose-sensing contacts and Calico, which studies aging and longevity, are becoming separate, Alphabet-managed companies. According to Page, each Alphabet company will have its own CEO, and Page and Brin will "rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well."
Alphabet will replace Google as the "publicly-traded entity," effective immediately. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet, and Google shareholders will have their shares replaced with an equal number of Alphabet shares. The company will continue to trade under the GOOG and GOOGL symbols on the Nasdaq. When Q4 financial reporting rolls around, Google's results will be reported separately from other companies in the Alphabet family.