Page and Brin found Alphabet to hold all Google-related businesses. Alphabethabet Inc will replace Google as the publicly-traded entity. All shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet — with the same rights. Page:
Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.
All of the businesses that fall under Alphabet will have their own individual chief executives. Page says that with the new structure, the company is planning to implement segment reporting for its fourth quarter earnings results. As such, Google’s financials will be provided separately from other Alphabet’s businesses. Page:
We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for! I should add that we are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products–the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands.
At a shareholder’s meeting, Brin discloses that one of Google’s self-driving cars was rear-ended at a traffic signal during the past week. The cars have been involved in 12 accidents while covering more than 1.7 million miles over the past six years.
I’m very proud of the record of our cars. Our goal is to beat human drivers.
In response to a request by Consumer Watchdog’s Simpson that the company release the self-driving cars’ accident reports filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and other government agencies to give the public a better understanding of the risks posed by the vehicles, Brin says the documents wouldn’t disclose anything different from a summary that the company posted online three weeks ago. Google says its self-driving cars have been rear-ended eight times (including the most-recent accident), side-swiped twice and hit by another vehicle rolling through a stop sign. Simpson says the records would shed more light by at least revealing the dates, times and precise locations of each accident. Brin:
I suppose we could give more detail and we are open to that, but you are not going to learn anymore.
Google hires Novartis to develop and produce smart contact lenses, which are intended to help people with a variety of medical conditions. For example, the contacts could help people who are farsighted by focusing a camera on objects and making them clearer, or they could be used to monitor glucose levels through the tears of people with diabetes. Google co-founder Sergey Brin says:
Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people. We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.
Brin and Page respond to a suggestion by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla that Google’s healthcare technology may become a bigger business than its social media or search business. Brin responds:
Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent.
I am really excited about the possibility of data also, to improve health. But that’s– I think what Sergey’s saying, it’s so heavily regulated.