Larry Page Wants Alphabet to Spell Innovation


Larry Page wants Google’s new parent company Alphabet to spell innovation.

The Google co-founder, who oversaw a sweeping reorganization of Google last month, says the new corporate structure gives moonshots from driverless cars to glucose-sensing contact lenses the room they need to experiment and grow.

Alphabet was created to make the technology giant more innovative and more enticing to entrepreneurs who dream big, Page said at a splashy dinner held by Fortune magazine at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor. The remarks were his first since the reorganization, which separated its lucrative search and advertising business from fledgling efforts.

Page, who is now chief executive of Alphabet, said he hopes the new Alphabet structure will make it easier for his company to focus on an array of world-changing products. Alphabet’s ambitions now stretch well beyond Google’s dominant search and advertising business to new big bets from smart devices for the home to wearables. These businesses are run as separate units from Google.

“I think my job is to create a scale that we haven’t quite seen from other companies,” Page said at the Fortune Global Forum.

He says Alphabet simply made the corporate structure reflect “reality.” Reaction inside Google was, “that was so obvious,” Page said.

Page says he and Google co-founder Sergey Brin split their time between managing the portfolio companies in the style of Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and targeting new areas for Alphabet, whether by building new technologies or acquiring them, such as Android.

As for the Alphabet name, Page read three books on naming but says it was Brin who ultimately came up with Alphabet.

“It’s only fair because I chose Google,” Page said.

Among the projects that have Page energized these days: revolutionizing communications with Project Loon, which is testing high-altitude, wind-propelled balloons to blanket Internet coverage across large swaths of the developing world. He called Loon “a cell tower in the sky,” beaming the Internet to billions who don’t have a cell signal.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Jessica Guynn