Goodbye Google, and hello Alphabet.
Well, sort of. In a post on its investor relations site today, Google announced that its reorganization as Alphabet will be finalized officially by the close of business today, and its stock will transition from Google shares to Alphabet shares.
But before we declare this to be a Really Big Change, it’s worth noting that shares of Google will still trade with the same ticker symbols: GOOG and GOOGL. Only the corporate name on the shares themselves will change (Alphabet Class A Common Stock and Alphabet Class C Common Stock). The Alphabet board of directors will have the same members as the Google board. Shareholders’ rights remain the same, too.
“There will be no change to any day-to-day operations,” a company spokesperson writes in an email to WIRED, “just a legal filing to officially establish the structure.”
In other words, this doesn’t really change much around how Google, er, Alphabet has been running on a day-to-day basis since co-founder Larry Page dropped his famous blog post in August detailing Google’s breakup into multiple companies under the Alphabet umbrella.
One change will be apparent when the company releases its fourth quarter financial results in January, the first time it will report earnings for two different segments of the company: Sundar Pichai’s Google and Larry Page’s Alphabet. The latter includes Calico (life-extension biotech research), Nest (smart home products), Fiber (high-speed Internet service, Ventures (early stage investing), and Capital (growth-stage investing). The upcoming third-quarter earnings this month will be reported the same as in the past.
So, yes, today’s transition is just a formality. But if all goes according to Google’s, I mean Alphabet’s, stated plans, this dividing will ultimately mean the launch of more moonshots than ever.