In a totally unexpected development this afternoon, Google announced that it had formed a new holding company, Alphabet, Inc., and that Google would be a wholly owned subsidiary of that entity. In addition, Google co-founders Page and Brin will become CEO and President of the new company, respectively, turning over daily control of Google to Sundar Pichai, who will become the new CEO.

As explained in a companion post at Marketing Land, Alphabet Inc., will consist of the following entities:

  1. Calico
  2. Fiber (internet access)
  3. Google (Search, Maps, YouTube, Android, Ads, Apps)
  4. Google Ventures (VC investing)
  5. Google Capital (investment fund)
  6. Google X (auto-driving cars, Google Glass, internet by balloon, moonshots)
  7. Life Sciences (the glucose sensing contact lens people)
  8. Nest (smoke alarms, home camera, thermostats and connected home devices)

There’s a good deal of head-scratching going on right now around the internet. However, this appears to be an effort by Page and Brin to remove themselves from daily Google operations and focus on a wider range of projects at a higher level. Page said this will allow him and Brin to get “more ambitious things done” and “take the long term view.”

Page further argues that a “slightly slimmed down Google” will have greater focus under Pichai. That may well be. Page and Brin now become insulated to a degree from the relentless revenue-growth expectations and pressures of Wall Street, which fall to Pichai and his deputies — although Alphabet, not Google, will be the publicly traded entity.

It will be interesting to see how other executives at Google handle the transition and how the Google rank and file react. The market doesn’t quite know how to react, it seems. The stock is mostly unmoved in after-hours trading.

As a practical matter, the new organization will have little or no impact whatsoever on search marketers or search marketing.

Postscript: Based on upbeat Wall Street analyst notes that came out today, Google stock is now up after hours.


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