Alphabet can be pretty confusing.
No, not the alphabet. I mean the Alphabet with a capital “A”.
It is the parent company of Google, and was created in October 2015 in a huge overhaul of the Californian tech giant. (The change was first announced in August 2015, but took time to come into effect.)
Google is now just one letter of this Alphabet, with other divisions and projects not part of Google’s core products spun out into separate “Alphabet companies,” each with their own CEO.
Alphabet gives its CEO Larry Page and the senior leadership significantly more freedom to chase exciting projects and acquisitions — regardless of how they fit into Google’s mission “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Healthcare research? Sure. Improving cities? Why not. Radical life extension? Sounds like fun!
As of July 2016, there are 11 confirmed Alphabet companies — with another, the Self-Driving Car Project, reportedly becoming one this year (Google declined to confirm or deny this). Recent additions include DeepMind, a London artificial intelligence startup which previously sat under Google, but has now been spun out; and Jigsaw, previously called Google Ideas, which acts as a kind of think tank.
Here’s how it all looks:
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