Google becomes ‘Alphabet’ in major restructuring plan

It’s not often that a company with a market cap of over $400 billion announces a massive operational restructuring plan that will undoubtedly hog the public conversation in tech social circles for months to come. Yet, that’s exactly what Google did today.

Under terms of the restructuring plan announced today by Larry Page, Google is rebranding itself as a new company called Alphabet. The core Google products you’ve come to know and love — YouTube, Android, Google Search, Gmail, Chrome, and Maps — aren’t getting the new branding but they will operate as a single unit under the Alphabet umbrella. The move, according to Page, is intended to provide more transparency to the company’s quarterly operations while also allowing Alphabet to better focus on other large entities such as Nest, Calico, Google X Incubator, and more.

“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable,” Page wrote, adding that he’ll stay on as CEO of Alphabet while fellow cofounder Sergey Brin assumes the role of president. “Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related.”

Page said each entity under the Alphabet umbrella will continue to have their own CEOs and management teams, while he and Brin will presumably operate from afar on an as-needed basis. As part of the news, Page also announced that Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of a “slightly slimmed down” Google.

Also of note, Alphabet will now begin breaking out financials separately for each of the groups it overseas. That means we still won’t really know how much revenue YouTube is generating, but we should be able to see quarterly updates specific to Nest, etc.

Today’s announcement also creates many new questions about how Alphabet will differ from Google — some valid, and some that are more speculation. For example, while Google has previously let it be known that it wasn’t interested in acquiring leadership-deficient social network Twitter, can the same be said of Alphabet? What about Alphabet hopping into other markets (like ride sharing), such as those it showed little limited interest in previously?  Time will tell, but at the very least you’d be hard pressed to call this anything short of interesting.

Sprint to cut workforce across the ranks

In an SEC filing, Sprint(s s) said it has begun implementing a plan to reduce its workforce over the next five months. The carrier didn’t say how many jobs it would cut, only that they would be across managerial and non-managerial staff and that it would incur severance and restructuring costs around $165 million in its fourth quarter earnings. It’s been six months since Sprint and SoftBank closed their massive investment deal, but Sprint is continuing to struggle.

Nokia Siemens continues crash diet, shedding another business

NSN is selling its business support systems (BSS) unit to Redknee for $52 million. NSN has coughed up its wireline, software and support equipment businesses over the last year in its effort to reshape itself as an LTE infrastructure specialist.

Nokia Siemens sells optical biz to hone its 4G focus

A private equity firm will pick up the optical business for an undisclosed amount, relieving NSN of one its last remaining ties to wireline networking. NSN’s focus on 4G appears to paying off. In the last year, it’s won key contracts and turned record profits.

Newspaper restructuring — think steel, cars and airlines

The Journal Register newspaper chain has filed for bankruptcy for a second time, which some say means its “digital first” vision is flawed. But all it really means is that the kind of transformation required for the newspaper business will be measured in decades.

News Corp confirms spin-off plan under consideration

Following numerous reports that News Corp is thinking of spinning off its publishing operations, the company issued a short statement that it is “considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct public companies.”

T-Mobile USA starts round 2 of layoffs, cutting 900 jobs

When T-Mobile USA laid off thousands of workers in March, it wasn’t quite done handing out the pink slips. On Tuesday T-Mobile said it would enter into its next phase of restructuring, which means more layoffs on top of 1900 cuts it has already made.

Exec shuffle focuses AT&T on the real prize: mobile

With its executive reshuffling this week AT&T returned to a structure that more accurately reflects where its businesses are heading. The wireless juggernaut that drives most of AT&T’s revenues in now firmly in the hands of former consumer CEO Ralph de la Vega.

Nokia Siemens reaches for a $1.6 billion lifeline

With no more money from its corporate parents forthcoming and few remaining businesses to sell, Nokia Siemens Networks has gone to European and U.S. banks for the funding it needs to restructure and survive. Will $1.6 million be enough to set it on course?