The alphabet learns that change is not as easy as ABC

The Company Formerly known as Google is still looking to become a corporation. But all in all, it’s a world-changing cash machine.


Subscribe Friday is our attempt to put news into context. Once a week, we’ll call out a recent headline, provide updates and explain why it’s important.Previously, i / o, Google’s massive annual developer conference, provided one of the very few opportunities for fans of the company – and reporters to cover it – uncovering CEO Larry Page is shy in public. In 2013, he answered audience questions for over an hour, and at the end of 2015, he showed up at an absent press conference and patiently mingled with the scribes. . As of 2016, no Page was found at i / o, even though it was hosted across the street from the Google campus. But then, in 2016, Page was no longer the CEO of Google. Instead, he is the leader of a so-called parent company Alphabet, a corporate reorganization in which Page still controls, but grants a degree of autonomy to the leaders of its various divisions, who currently take on the CEO title. At the annual i / o press conference, Page’s successor is Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, who is surrounded by a crowd of reporters.


Back as Google CEO, Larry Page spoke at i / o in 2013. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) The department that’s still called Google is still strong, but it’s not Alphabet. It is only part of it. But that’s the part where most people interact with search, Android, Gmail, and even data centers. New companies – Google Ventures (now GV), Verily, Fiber, Calico, Sidewalk, Nest, Google Capital and Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas) – are structured as entities, but for income purposes. All are put together in a category called “Other Bets.”

How it all works together is a mystery. A year after testing, there is still some confusion about how the Company Formerly known as Google actually works. Alphabet also appears to be experiencing a level of chaos, spurred by a number of recent departures, including both CEOs.

Its centerpiece is still Larry Page. He did not answer any questions. Too bad – because Alphabet is still feeding them.

The site’s blog post a year ago announced about Alphabet shocking not only some of Google’s closest followers but also many of Google’s top employees. Months in the making, the plan to move Google from a single business to a hydraulic-structured parent company was set up by a very small group of executives, operating at a covert level. unusual even for ordinary corporate secrets. The Google press staff cannot provide much of the details, not because they are not allowed to go beyond the Page’s claims, but because a bunch of details have yet to be resolved. (For example, the PR folks themselves aren’t sure whether from then on they’ll report to an Alphabet head of communications or to the CEO of the department they work for. After a few seconds. weeks, Alphabet has determined this).

Self-explanatory page in his blog post That a big reason for that change is empowering the head of the division, now the CEO. “Alphabet is about thriving businesses through strong and independent leaders,” he wrote. This seemed like a transformation – when Page himself became the CEO of Google in 2011, he took steps to get the leaders (known as L-team) to work. together, even to the point of sharing a physical space in the afternoons. The speculation that the transition comes in is partly because Page fears that if the L team members cannot run their own operations, they will go elsewhere.

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