Google is dead. Long live Google.
Okay, not really, but the tech giant made waves on Monday when it announced a massive overhaul of its corporate structure. The company that we currently know as Google is being renamed and rebranded as a larger holding company called Alphabet. Their URL, fittingly, is http://abc.xyz.
So, why are they doing all this? Newly minted Alphabet CEO Larry Page says that this change is intended to allow Alphabet to better manage its considerable holdings, especially “with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products.” By creating Alphabet, Page and his colleagues hope to be able to better manage and allocate resources to companies like Life Sciences (a company “that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens”) and Calico in addition to more prominent Google-branded services.
As for the actual structure of Alphabet, it will be comprised of a smaller version of Google, which will be slimmed down to include the company’s core businesses. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, these businesses include “search search, ads, maps, apps, YouTube and Android and the related technical infrastructure.” Alphabet will also contain other business like Fiber, Nest, and Calico, as well as incubators like Wing — their drone delivery effort, which contained a well-hidden Silicon Valley easter egg in the Google blog post — and Google X, investment arms like Google Ventures and Google Capitol, and more. These other businesses will be managed separately from the core Google businesses, which should allow for greater focus and oversight.
Google shareholders will receive one share of Alphabet stock for every Google share they previously held. For those fearing a weird shakeup on Google’s masthead, you can relax; CEO Larry Page, CFO Ruth Porat, President Sergey Brin, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, and chief counsel David Drummond will all be retaining their positions at Alphabet.
The transition will take place later this year with Alphabet initially being “a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Google.” Once Google is owned by Alphabet, the two companies will merge together with Alphabet coming out as the primary company and Google surviving in its newer, leaner form as a “direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet.” In layman’s terms, they’re pulling the old switcheroo. If you want all the gory details, here is the SEC filing containing all the relevant information. But for now, just know that the Google you know and love is pretty much staying exactly the same. They’re just frosting their tips, buying a new wardrobe, and trying out a hot new look for the fall. You know — the same thing we’re all doing.
What do you think of Google’s new branding? Let us know in the comments below.
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of 100 Things Avengers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).