This anecdote about Google's CEO missing a meeting shows what the new 'Alphabet' structure will be like

Sundar Pichai Getty / Stephen LamGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai

When Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently missed a meeting, it gave his fellow executives an idea of what the company’s impending evolution would feel like.

Google announced in August that it planned to blow up its corporate structure by forming a new parent company called Alphabet to allow its different businesses to operate independently and move faster.

Google’s core business — which encompass search, YouTube, and Android — will separate from smaller units like the hardware maker Nest or “moonshot” factory Google X. Each division will have its own CEO.

Although the company didn’t set an exact deadline for when all the changes will formally take place, The Wall Street Journal’s Alistair Barr shares an anecdote that perfectly sums up what the new Alphabet company will be like internally.

Executives got their “unexpected glimpse” of Alphabet only one day after Larry Page announced the change.

Top execs had gathered to discuss one of the smaller, moonshot businesses, but Sundar Pichai, the new Google CEO, was conspicuously absent. The group delayed the beginning of the meeting, waiting for Pichai to show up, until it hit them that Pichai’s presence wasn’t really necessary anymore, Barr writes.

If he had more important, Google-specific things to do, he should be doing those things, instead.

The new Alphabet will likely have far fewer all-inclusive meetings, as it strives to make every individual unit more efficient, focused and empowered to shoot for ambitious goals.

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