Alphabet: wise move?

Here’s why I think Google’s transformation into Alphabet was not a wise one.

As Google cofounder Larry Page, now CEO of the holding company Alphabet, that will have as its main subsidiary Google, the search company, said earlier today:

As Sergey and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.” As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make “smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses.” From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.

Well, if Google wants to keep spending investor money into “speculative” areas, what could be dumber than reporting its financials as “Google: hugely profitable” and “other random stuff: huge cash drain”? It will just make investors all the more sensitive to the fact that Google’s search business is basically what makes money, and everything else is - for now, at least - a huge cash drain.

Raising awareness to Google’s - oops, Alphabet’s - business unit’s individual financials will attract attention of the likes of Carl Icahn, who’s raided Ebay in the past, and who’ll engage in open challenging of Page and Brin’s capital allocation decisions. It will definitely not compensate for the advantages of having Sundar Pichai take on greater responsibilities as Google chief, etc.

Not at all a wise move.

 
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