Google has announced it is to rebrand itself as a brand new company called Alphabet.
In highly surprising news, announced in a blog post on Monday evening, Larry Page explained that Alphabet will be the new parent company for a wide range of interests, the largest of which will remain Google.
Page, who will act as CEO of the new Alphabet firm, wrote: "Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet. I am really excited to be running Alphabet as CEO with help from my capable partner, Sergey [Brin], as President."
"What is Alphabet? Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products contained in Alphabet instead."
As a result of the change in structure, current Android and Chrome boss Sundar Pichai has been promoted to CEO of the new "slimmed down" Google.
Pichar, who has apparently been handling a lot of Google's core businesses since October 2014 under the title of product chief, will now take responsibility for divisions like Maps, Search, Google Now, Photos, Android, Chrome and the like.
Meanwhile, Susan Wojcicki will continue her role as CEO of YouTube, but that company will remain part of Google.
The X Labs division that birthed moonshots like Google Glass, Project Loon, the company's self-driving cars and the recently revealed Wing drone delivery platform will be part of Alphabet rather than Google.
Page wrote: "This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google. He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our internet businesses. Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google."
In the blog post, Page said the idea was to have a strong CEO running each business, such as Google Fiber, Nest and the Life Sciences and Calico divisions that have come to the fore more recently.
The move will also make it easier for Page and Brin to spin-off new business interests into different companies, while it will also make Alphabet's various activities more transparent, the CEO said.
He added: "Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed."
From a logisitics point of view Google will now trade under Alphabet Inc, although its stock tickers (GOOGL and GOOG) will remain the same.
The website for Alphabet can be found at abc.xyz. Each of the new companies will involve also report separate financials, starting in 2016.
As for the name, Page explains: "For Sergey and me this is a very exciting new chapter in the life of Google—the birth of Alphabet. 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!"