- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2015

It’s not an easy feat in the tech world to get any bigger than Google. But a new entity unveiled by the Silicon Valley giant’s top executives has managed to accomplish the feat instantly this week with the creation of Alphabet, a holding company under which the globe’s dominant search engine will operate as part of sweeping new structural corporate changes.

Google co-founder Larry Page on Monday unveiled Alphabet, a new venture he will run with longtime business partner Sergey Brin.

“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable,” Mr. Page wrote in a blog post on Monday.

The Alphabet umbrella will contain a “slimmed down” Google and the site’s most popular portals, among them YouTube and Google Maps, alongside other innovative tech projects that have been launched during the first 16 years of the Mountain View, California, company’s existence.

“Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related,” Mr. Page said in the statement published first on Blogger — the popular weblog site that became part of Google after an acquisition in 2003.

Shares of Google will be automatically converted into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with the same rights, Mr. Page said, and Google will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the holding company.

Mr. Page, 42, will be the chief executive of Alphabet and has relinquished the role of Google CEO to Sundar Pichai, an 11-year veteran of the company who has been credited with helping launch some of its most popular products, including the Chrome Web browser and the Google Drive cloud storage site.

“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,” wrote Mr. Page, who now has completed two nonconsecutive stints as the company’s CEO.

Mr. Brin, the 41-year-old Russian-born co-founder of Google, will serve as Alphabet’s president, Mr. Page said.

Other corporate properties that will be contained in Alphabet include the X lab, the Space Age research facility responsible for Google Glass; the company’s self-driving car; and its work-in-progress drone delivery system.

Alphabet will also encompass the company’s life sciences division, which is working to create contact lenses that can measure glucose levels, and the health research organization that’s studying longevity, Calico. Ventures and Capital, Google’s two investment arms, will be incorporated into Alphabet as well.

Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly traded entity, and all shares of Google will convert into Alphabet shares. Google will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet. The two share classes will remain GOOGL and GOOG.

Both classes of the company’s stock rose more than 6 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement Monday afternoon.

Google is currently ranked number 39 on Forbes’ list of the world’s biggest corporations.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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