In creating Alphabet, a new company to hold a "slimmed down" Google and its sister enterprises, Google co-founder Larry Page is giving independence to his two biggest pet projects, Life Sciences and Calico. The Alphabet move does far more than that, of course: it reorganizes most of what's under Google's marvelous roof and frees up each entity by creating independent management structures under Alphabet. The move also rewards Google superstars like Sundar Pichai, who will become CEO of Google -- a position that was unlikely to become free before Page and co-founder Sergei Brin kicked themselves upstairs. (A little humor: it is not known whether Google -- er, Alphabet -- has purchased exclusive rights to the alphabet song.)
Alphabet will own Google, and Alphabet shares will trade as GOOG and GOOGL on the NASDAQ -- as Google does now. Calico will continue its generously funded and somewhat secretive research into aging and longevity, with the audacious goal of much longer and healthier human lives. Life Sciences is also reported to have a broad range of research objectives, though in his announcement Page singles out the glucose-sensing contact lens as its core mission.
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