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Alphabet: the Company formerly known as Google.

As we enter the home stretch of 2015 we begin to look back on all of the exciting, entertaining, and in some cases disappointing happenings of the year. 2015 was a wild and crazy year for the company formerly known as Google (GOOG), as the former kingpin search engine/ad powerhouse sold to a new parent company. Subsequently, the company formerly known as Google will eventually be called Alphabet.

In September Google blew up its corporate structure, and new parent company Alphabet has started reshuffling projects and breaking out divisions into stand-alone entities. Essentially, Google has reorganized itself into multiple companies, separating its core Internet business from several of its most ambitious projects while continuing to run all of these operations under a new umbrella company called Alphabet.

So what is Alphabet?

“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google,” Google co-founder Larry Page said. “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.”

In other words, Google will continue to run internet-centric operations, such as Google Maps, YouTube, and Chrome. But “moonshot” projects, such as Calico life extension project, will operate under different entities.

According to Alphabet CEO, Larry Page, Alphabet will eventually report earnings separate from the other spinoff companies. Alphabet will also replace Google as the publically traded company on the Nasdaq stock exchange, and all shares of Google will convert to Alphabet.

The wild ride of 2015

Since these announcements were made last summer, Google stock has soared. A share of Alphabet stock will currently set you back nearly $750, up 42% from the ~$527 per share Google was fetching at the beginning of the year. Not bad considering the magnitude of change under Alphabet.

On the other hand, Google finally admitted defeat on its ill-fated social network, they re-booted their robot divisions and dealt with massive regulatory headaches around the globe.

In April, the EU accused Google of violating antitrust laws in Europe. Additionally, the EU launched a series of investigations into several Google businesses, including Android, Maps, and Shopping. As recently as September, Bloomberg reported that closer to home, the FTC started investigating Android too. Oh, and, of course, we can’t forget that Russia said that Google’s practice of pre-loading apps on Android was illegal.

With a new corporate structure and several fires to put out at home and abroad, 2015 has proven to be a roller-coaster of a year for the company formerly known as Google. It will be interesting to see how 2016 unfolds for Alphabet!

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Monday, 18 June 2018
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