It is a $29bn org chart. If Googleexecutives mapped out their new corporate structure on something as antediluvian as a white board, they could stick a gold frame around it.
Google’s shares rose by that amount, or 7 per cent, in after-hours trading on Monday when the company revealed it was creating a new holding company called Alphabet, with subsidiaries ranging from the core search and advertising business to Nest, which makes thermostats, Fiber, the high-speed internet provider, and Calico, the biotech company.
At first sight, this is absurd. The balance sheet and cash flows will be unchanged. Larry Page, chief executive, calls it “cleaner”. The risk is it creates a mess, particularly in human resources. Even the top team is not exactly streamlined. Mr Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt move from Google to Alphabet, but Sundar Pichai moves from head of Google products to become chief executive of Google, and Ruth Porat, chief financial officer, will be CFO of both Alphabet and Google.
乍一看，此举非常荒谬。资产负债表以及现金流都不会改变。首席执行官拉里?佩吉(Larry Page)称其“更干净”。风险在于，此举制造了混乱，特别是在人力资源方面。就连最高层团队也并未真的精简。佩吉、谢尔盖?布林(Sergey Brin)以及埃里克?施密特(Eric Schmidt)从谷歌移至Alphabet，但是桑德尔?皮查伊(Sundar Pichai)从谷歌产品主管升任谷歌首席执行官，而首席财务官露丝?波拉特(Ruth Porat)将成为Alphabet和谷歌两家的CFO。
Further down the organisation, life gets more compartmentalised. It is not obvious that working in a silo at Company XYZ, “an Alphabet subsidiary”, is as attractive as working on complex issues across today’s Google.
There could be benefits to disclosures. At the moment, Google’s are paltry for a $487bn company, with barely any breakdown between lines of business. But the board has stopped short of giving each independent company its own public financials. Each apart from Google, will be contained in the same “non-Google” revenue line. That is hardly a revolution in transparency.
There is one big advantage. The core Google business may have been relegated to just another subsidiary and it may have lost Mr Page as day-to-day chief executive. But he has seemed more interested in new projects for some time. With a more dedicated management team, the performance of Google could improve. And with separated financials, the market can finally see what are already reputed to be fearsome margins.