Google announced a massive overhaul on Monday. Larry Page will become CEO of Alphabet, a larger company that will now encompass Google as well as other stand-alone divisions like Calico, its life sciences division, and Google X, it’s so-called “moonshots” factory.
But insiders say the move isn’t that surprising.
“This has been discussed for the last four years,” one former executive told Business Insider. “The details are a little bit different, but the idea is the same.”
This person says that former current SVP of product and trusted Page advisor Salar Kamangar initially made this suggestion at least four years ago in a meeting with the full executive team. For the last few years, he has been focused on finding ways to try to make this happen, talking it over with Page and others.
“He doesn’t have to come into the office anymore, he doesn’t have to be the tie-breaker anymore, he doesn’t have to show up to events anymore,” our source adds. “Those were the worst parts of the job for him, he didn’t enjoy it, and now he’s stepping back.”
“This is kind of a non-event — the big change happened a while ago,” former Googler and current investor at Khosla Ben Ling told Business Insider, referring to Pichai’s executive leader role.
Page has long been bored with the day-to-day job of chasing ad revenues, said at the time that he wanted to step back to focus on the bigger picture. This move just gives him even more freedom to do that.
Page said in an interview with The Financial Times last year that he wanted to be like Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway: In charge, but with a cadre of talented CEOs who could run their businesses mostly undisturbed. With Page at the helm of the parent company Alphabet, he’ll no longer be accountable for the specifics of any given off-shoot.
Although Page wasn’t particularly warm on the idea when Kamangar first suggested it, our source says, it makes sense more than ever now thanks to the recent dissolution of Google Plus.
When the social network first launched, it was pitched as the grand unifier of all of Google’s products, the backbone powering YouTube, email, Maps, Hangouts, everything. It’s timely that this separation comes now, as the company starts to pull apart that infrastructure, too.
Plus, as the company faces more competition from outside companies than ever, and sees its core growth continue to slow, this move allows it to move faster and give more autonomy to individual company leaders.
“In some ways, the best way to prevent itself from being blown up from the outside is to blow it up from the inside,” former Google Plus designer Chris Messina tells Business Insider.
NOW WATCH: Sony has been working on this Playstation game for 8 years — and the trailer is absolutely beautiful
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.