Google dropped a bomb by announcing it is restructuring into a new company called Alphabet -- here's what some tech watchers think.
Google dropped a bunker-buster of a news release into the sleepy summer technology world on Monday, with its announcement that the $345-billion company is restructuring, an ambitious move that will make the search company just an operating unit of a much larger entity called Alphabet.
Once tech watchers managed to pick their chins up off the floor, reaction to the news ranged from shock and surprise to admiration at the sheer audacity of such a move. Here are some of the responses we’ve collected from tech insiders and others on Twitter — if you have any good ones, feel free to retweet them and tag @mathewi and we’ll try to add them.
A number of people made fun of the name Alphabet, saying the company was going to ruin its SEO, or conversely that SEO is why it changed its name:
But chairman Eric Schmidt defended the choice:
Some wondered whether this might allow Google to get away from its troublesome motto “Don’t be evil”
Former Android executive and Founders Collective investor Gaurav Jain admired the chutzpah of the company’s move:
Balaji Srinivasan, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, drew a comparison to Warren Buffett’s holding company:
Peter Rojas, co-founder of technology blogs Gizmodo and Engadget, said he thinks it’s a way for Google’s executive team to maintain control without having to leave:
Investor and former YouTube executive Hunter Walk noted that Google’s move effectively dwarfs the restructuring moves of most other companies:
Others speculated that Sundar Pichai, who becomes CEO of Google, got a competing offer and this was partly driven by an attempt to keep him happy:
Bilal Zuberi, a Lux Capital partner, wondered how this move will affect the venture capital landscape:
Sam Altman, president of the influential startup seed fund and incubator Y Combinator, saw some similarities in the new entity:
Aaron Levie, the CEO of cloud-storage company Box, commented on the sheer size and scope of Alphabet:
Startup founder Ouriel Ohayon noted that there is more than one way to interpret the new company’s name:
Former PayPal and LinkedIn executived Keith Rabois questioned whether the restructuring made sense given some of the decisions about what to include in the parent holding company:
Techdirt founder Mike Masnick wondered whether Google’s restructuring might be driven by legal concerns:
And one member of “Finance Twitter” pointed out that whatever they might think of Google’s move, investors don’t have much of a choice because of the way the company is structured:
Meanwhile, Politico’s deputy media editor was one of those who pointed out that the text on Google’s information page for the new company contains a hidden link to a webpage for the fictitious company “Hooli” from the satirical TV show Silicon Valley:
And blogger Andy Baio of WaxPancake made a logo for the new entity: