The Google of 2015 is a far cry removed from the search engine that first premiered to the public in the late ’90s. In the decade-plus since, we’ve seen it mature to become the dominant force among search providers, branch out into social media, create self-driving cars, and turn into one of the biggest players in the mobile tech world thanks to its Android platform. So far, all those new ventures have found themselves huddled up under the Google umbrella, but now that’s all changing with the announcement of Alphabet, the new company from Larry Page and Sergey Brin that will now count Google as its subsidiary.
This new structure will help Google keep on doing internet-related things while providing a new home for some of its more out-there projects; in his announcement of Alphabet, Page mentions things like health-related efforts as those that make more sense to manage directly under Alphabet, rather than keeping them as part of Google.
A new company also means management changes, and Page will head up Alphabet as CEO, with Brin acting as President. The more significant shift is happening over at Google itself, as Android head Sundar Pichai is promoted to CEO of Google.
It’s a lot to take in, especially considering how ingrained this notion of Google-as-overarching-tech-giant has become in industry circles, but once you get past the shock of Google being relegated to a subsidiary of a larger firm, it’s not so hard to wrap your head around: Alphabet today is pretty much just what Google was yesterday, and the Google we’ll talk about going forward is only going to be more laser-focused on the internet-based tech stuff that’s been the firm’s bread and butter since the beginning.