In a surprise restructuring move, Google has unveiled new parent company Alphabet Inc.
Under the new setup, Google will still be the brand for search, apps, YouTube and Android. Alphabet will cover the investment and research divisions, the drone arm, and “smart-home” developer unit Nest.
The move is intended to simplify the structure of what is now essentially a group of businesses covering a wide range of commercial activities.
Larry Page, Google co-founder, wrote in a blog post: “This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google.
“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable.”
Page will now become chief executive of Alphabet, and his fellow co-founder Sergey Brin will be president.
Senior vice president Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of Google, and Eric Schmidt, the current Google chairman, will take on the mantle of executive chairman of the holding company.
The two companies will share a chief financial officer in the shape of Ruth Porat.
Page’s blog post pointed out that the original founders’ letter 11 years ago stated: “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.
“From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.”
In the post, Page expressed his hopes for the future and also explained the choice of name.
“For Sergey and me this is a very exciting new chapter in the life of Google – the birth of Alphabet. We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search!
“We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for! I should add that we are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products – the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands,” Page concluded.