Larry Page and Sergey Brin are no longer heads of Google.
The company announced today the formation of a new company, Alphabet, which they will run and oversee, Page as CEO and Brin as President. Alphabet owns Google, which will form the largest of many subsidiary companies within the collective.
The move makes Sundar Pichai, former head of Android, Chrome and product engineering, Google’s new CEO. According to Page, “Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. 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.”
Page and Brin will continue to oversee aspects of Google, but will leave the day to day running of the company to Pichai. They are more eager to grow other parts of the business, from Life Sciences and Calico, which focus on healthcare and longevity respectively, to Wing and Boston Robotics, which focus on drones and robotics. Nest will continue to be run as an independent company, as will YouTube.
The move may seem shocking to outsiders, but it has been a long time coming for a company as diverse and prolific as Google. What started as a search engine and online advertising business has blossomed into a behemoth across myriad industries and verticals. Google isn’t just trying to optimize mobile ads in the browser, or enable companies like Samsung and LG to sell smartphones, but is attempting to solve larger problems, from diseases to automation.
Google will convert into Alphabet on the Nasdaq stock exchange, but the stock will not split or change in any other way. From a unit perspective, other than the change at the very top, with Pichai replacing Page as CEO, it is business as usual.