Google used to be a standalone company once, and last week it officially transformed into Alphabet Holdings. Apart from this big change, a small but substantive change has been noticed in its new code of conduct.
New code of conduct
Google’s code of conduct had a motto that states, “Don’t be evil.” This motto had been there when the Internet firm filed for its IPO in 2004. But Alphabet stresses that the company’s employees and subsidiaries should “Do the right thing.” They should “follow the law, act honorably” and treat everyone with respect, the new motto says.
At the end of last week, Bruce Greenwald, the founding director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School, sat down for a Fireside Chat with Li Lu, the founder and chairman of Himalaya Capital as part of the 13th Columbia China Business Conference. The chat spanned many different topics, Read More
Google aspired to be a different company with its earlier motto of “Don’t be evil,” but critics claim the company has not always lived up to its motto, according to The WSJ. Google’s code of conduct is spread over several pages, including idiosyncrasies about drinking at work and carrying pets to the office. It restricts too much drinking at work and does not allow cats inside. On the other hand, Alphabet’s code sticks to the basics that include avoid conflicts of interest, maintain integrity and obey the law.
Google wants new businesses to develop own culture
Google announced Alphabet as an umbrella unit that would hold Google and all other businesses that are far from the main internet products by the company. Despite the restructuring taking place inside the company, the vast majority of employees working for Alphabet will remain Google employees. This means that Google’s code of conduct and its motto “Don’t be evil” will be applicable to such employees.
However, this does not mean that the set norms will restrict the new businesses. Rather, the set norms will allow the new businesses to develop cultures of their own, separate from Google. “Individual Alphabet companies may of course have their own codes to ensure they continue to promote compliance and great values. But if they start bringing cats to work, there’s gonna be trouble with a capital T,” said a spokesman from Google.
As of today, Class A and Class C Google shares will automatically be converted into the same number of Alphabet Class A and class C shares for trading on the NASDAQ. It must be noted that there will be no change to the ticker symbols.