Google has announced the creation of a new company called Alphabet that will become the parent company to Google and other services such as Google X and Nest.
The shock move means that Google, as the traditional search and advertising business, is now essentially just a division of the new company. Google's unit will also remain home to key services such as YouTube, Android and Maps.
Areas that will now become standalone units under Alphabet include Google Ventures, Google Capital, Google Fibre and Google X.
Each area will report into Alphabet, which will be run by Larry page as CEO while Sundar Pichai will be CEO of the new Google.
Announcing the shake-up in a blog post Page said that the move will ensure that Google doesn't get "comfortable doing the same thing" and that its "new areas of innovation could prosper".
"Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead," he said.
Page cited the focus on life sciences as an example of more left-field work that will now be considered separate to Google. This will also see Alphabet split the financials of various products to provide more specific insights on their performance.
Clearly keen to reassure the market, Page said that the move will give Google, under Pichai, the chance to continue to grow free from constraints.
"This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside Google," he said, before touting Pichai as the ideal person to lead the new "slimmed down" Google.
"[Pichai] has really stepped up since October last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our internet businesses," said Page.
"Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google."
Apple CEO Tim Cook congratulated Pichai on the appointment on Twitter.
@tim_cook thanks Tim, appreciate it!— sundarpichai (@sundarpichai) August 11, 2015
Page continued by explaining that each division will have its own CEO, either present incumbents such as Susan Wojcicki who heads up YouTube, or appointed by Page and co-founder Sergey Brin.
"Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed," he said.
Page added that Alphabet will not become a consumer-facing brand but merely act as the umbrella for the Google ecosystem of products and services that currently exist.
"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," he said.
For one man on Twitter the move could definitely have interesting repurcussions:
Well, that was an interesting way to end a Monday...— Chris Andrikanich (@alphabet) August 10, 2015
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