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Business Leader of the Week: Meet Larry Page, co-founder of Alphabet Inc

IFM_Alphabet Co-Founder Larry Page
As of February 2023, Larry Page has an estimated net worth of USD 93 billion

Alphabet Inc. is an American global technological conglomerate headquartered in Mountain View, California.

The company was founded while restructuring (reorganizing the legal, ownership, and operational structure of the company) Google in 2015. Alphabet ended up becoming the parent company of Google and several other subsidiaries of the popular internet search engine. It is the third-largest tech company in the world and one of the most valuable businesses. Together with Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Meta, Alphabet is one of the big five American technological companies.

Alphabet provides a range of software and Internet-related services and solutions, including web surfing and search, cloud computing, streaming media, mobile operating systems and apps, and more. A large percentage of Alphabet’s revenue comes from advertising thanks to the use of its numerous platforms and services.

Alphabet makes money through advertising, with the Google Ads program being the primary way the tech conglomerate generates revenue. An algorithm creates a list of search results for every query entered into Google’s search engine, apart from attempting to provide the most relevant search result for the query as well as related suggested pages from a Google Ads advertiser.

When a user interacts with the advertisement in some way, such as by clicking on it or merely seeing it, Google receives payments from the advertisers. Advertisers also pay Google to suggest their pages to users, and will attempt to outbid each other to have their site appear first in the list of search results.

During the last quarter of its fiscal year 2022, Alphabet generated a net income of USD 20.6 billion. In comparison to Q4 FY 2021, net income increased by 35.6%. The quarter’s revenue was reported to have increased by 32.4% from the prior quarter to USD 75.3 billion. According to Alphabet, its advertising division continues to experience rapid growth during the last quarter. Despite supply issues, the company’s Pixel phones set a quarterly sales record. Alphabet’s cloud division also experienced significant revenue increases.

The brain behind Alphabet is an American Internet Entrepreneur and Computer Scientist Larry Page. He is the co-founder of Alphabet, with an estimated personal net worth of around USD 93 billion dollars, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Who is Larry Page?

  • Larry Page was born on March 26, 1973, in East Lansing, Michigan USA
  • He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1991 and pursued his Ph.D. degree in computer science engineering from Stanford University in 1995
  • During his Ph.D., he met Sergey Brin, a computer scientist and internet entrepreneur, and founded Google in 1998
    During the period 1998-2001, Larry Page was the CEO of Google
  • In 2002, he was selected as a ‘Global Leader’ by the ‘World Economic Forum for Tomorrow’
  • In 2011, Forbes placed Larry Page in 24th rank on the list of billionaires and he was the 11th richest person in the US
  • In 2015, he established Alphabet Inc. while restructuring Google
  • Larry Page has secretly invested more than USD 100 million dollars to fund two flying car companies, Kitty Hawk and Zee.Aero in 2016, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report
  • After reports that Larry Page entered New Zealand during border restrictions brought on by COVID-19, the country’s officials confirmed that he is a resident of the country in 2021
  • As of February 2023, Larry Page has an estimated net worth of USD 93 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and this makes him the world’s seventh-richest person
  • Larry Page is an investor in Tesla Motors. He has put his money into renewable energy technology, and with the help of, Google’s philanthropic arm, while promoting the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric cars and other alternative energy options
  • He is also a strategic backer of the Opener startup which is developing aerial vehicles for consumer travel.
  • Larry Page was also one of the brains behind the creation of Singularity University, a transhumanist think-tank. Google is one of the institution’s corporate founders and still funds scholarships there

Alphabet’s Recent Developments

  • In 2022, Alphabet made the announcement that the company will spend roughly USD 9.5 billion in our US offices and data centres
  • According to the company’s Q4 FY 2022 earnings press release, the company’s board of directors has approved a 20-for-one stock split (the number of shares of that company increases, but the market cap remains the same)
  • The company’s class A, class B, and class C shares will receive a one-time special equity dividend as a result of the stock split and the one who has Alphabet shares will receive a dividend of 19 additional shares
  • In October 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that Alphabet planned to ban digital ads from appearing next to content denying climate change on Google and also on its YouTube video service
  • Any content that denies climate change is caused by human activity or by carbon emissions was subjected to a ban.
  • A global shortage of semiconductors in 2021 led Alphabet and India’s Reliance Industries to postpone the release of a low-cost smartphone that the two businesses had been working on together. According to Reliance Industries, the smartphone would have the lowest price both globally and in India

However, the company is facing problems and Larry Page’s guidance is needed more than ever.

Google hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in early 2023. With the tech sector facing an economic headwind in 2022, the search engine giant too felt the heat and fired some 12000 IT professionals, a process which its own staffers criticised by saying that employee efficiency and achievement records were not considered during the downsizing process.

The company also received a shock from Microsoft-backed OpenAI, whose successful launch of next-generation AI chatbot ChatGPT became the talk of the town. Google tried to do a catch-up by launching its own product called Bard but a wrong answer given by the chatbot immediately after its launch resulted in a market bloodbath for the search engine giant.

Meanwhile, Alphabet stock has been up by just 1.9% so far in 2023 compared to the Nasdaq’s 10% rise. Facebook parent Meta, which saw financial setbacks in 2022 and is still in news for its staff downsizing, has seen a 41% jump in its share values. Alphabet and Meta stocks are now trading at nearly the same forward sales multiple, according to Koyfin data.

As per a report from ‘The Information’, Alphabet’s shareholders are not happy about the company’s financial performance and have pitched for drastic measures. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai continues to face the heat, Larry Page, who vacated the post of Alphabet CEO in 2019 and currently remains the tech giant’s board member, may have to get back into some serious ACTION in the coming days.

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