Spelling it out: Google’s new corporate structure will provide more clarity for investors

These days it seems as if there is almost no area of technology that Google can resist dipping its toes into. Among other things it is working on driverless cars, delivery drones, glucose-detecting contact lenses for diabetics, devices for the “smart home” and research into extending human lifespans. The corporate reorganisation it announced this week is an acknowledgment of what Google has become: a sprawling conglomerate, albeit with one predominant, profit-generating division in the form of its original internet business.Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, will serve as chief executive and president, respectively, of a new holding company, called Alphabet. Google’s internet-search and advertising business, including its YouTube online-video service, Chrome web browser and Android operating system, will be a subsidiary of Alphabet. So will its other, newer ventures, which will henceforth be run more independently from the main business. In creating this new set-up, Messrs Page and Brin are taking inspiration from Berkshire Hathaway, a successful conglomerate that invests in more established industries.

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