Who is Larry Page?
If you don’t already know who Larry Page is, you definitely know what he’s built. Here’s a hint: You probably use his products every day.
Larry Page is an American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur best known as the co-founder of Google and one of the richest people in the world. Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan by two computer science professors, Lawrence Edward Page was destined to make strides in the technology industry. He received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and went on to receive his Ph.D. at Stanford University, where he met the other co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin.
Google was founded in 1998 and Page served as its CEO from its inception until 2001, and then again from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, Page and Brin co-founded Alphabet as a conglomerate holding company for Google and its many other subsidiaries. Page was then the CEO of Alphabet from 2015 to 2019. Today, Larry Page continues to sit on the board of both organizations and is also a founding investor in other technology companies.
What companies does Larry Page own?
As the co-founders of Google and Alphabet, Larry Page and Sergey Brin both own significant parts of both organizations – around 3% of the companies’ total shares. But when owning a technology conglomerate, you also own portions of all of its many subsidiaries. With over 200 mergers and acquisitions under the Alphabet umbrella, Larry Page owns far too many companies to name. Instead, let’s explore some of its most important acquisitions, as well as other notable companies that Larry Page has partial ownership of or investments in.
In October 2015, Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced a restructuring of Google and introduced their newest technology conglomerate: Alphabet. According to Larry Page, Alphabet was founded as a way to make Google’s collection of companies and products “cleaner and more accountable.” Now, instead of Google acting as an umbrella company, Alphabet would be split into two divisions: Google and “Other Bets,” where they house its various emerging companies. The conglomerate now operates using a divisional organizational structure.
This new and improved structure made for a more “slimmed down” Google that is solely responsible for its own products and services, while Alphabet’s other organizations were also able to operate autonomously. In this change, Page stepped down as CEO of Google and assumed the role of CEO of Alphabet, with former Product Chief Sundar Pichai taking his place. Today, Alphabet has 200 subsidiary businesses in a variety of sectors, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, advertising, computer software, computer hardware and life sciences. It is worth $2 trillion, making it the third most valuable company in the world after Microsoft and Apple. Sundar Pichai is now the CEO of Alphabet, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin remain on the board of directors.
Often referred to as one of the most influential companies in the world, Google needs no introduction. Nevertheless, Google is a multinational technology company that offers multiple internet services and products such as Google Cloud, Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, ads, Android, Chrome, hardware and YouTube.
Created in 1998 by then-Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google quickly gained the attention of angel investors and received an initial $100,000 investment that allowed the company to grow into what it is today. By 2002, Google had already made such incredible strides that its search engine competitor Yahoo tried to purchase the company for $3 billion. Luckily, Page and Brin knew their worth because just two years later, Google went public with a valuation of $27 billion. Now, Google has nearly 300 products, rakes in over $200 billion per year and employs close to 300,000 Googlers.
Video-sharing platform Youtube is one of Google’s earliest and most expensive acquisitions. With more than 2 billion monthly users, Youtube is one of the most visited websites in the world, so it's no wonder that Google was eager to purchase it. Founded in 2005 by three early Paypal employees, Youtube was initially launched as a platform for video dating profiles. However, based on feedback from users, it quickly rebranded as a free video hosting platform for all content. Youtube quickly gained popularity and just 18 months after its founding, Google acquired the company for $1.65 billion.
Founded in 1928, Motorola is a multinational telecommunications company. At the time, it produced radio-related technology but by the 1960s it broke into the television industry. In 1973, Motorola demonstrated the first hand-held portable telephone, driving it to become a leader in the cellular industry for many decades.
In 2011, Motorola inc. split into two independent companies: Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. That same year, Google announced its acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, making it Google’s most expensive purchase to date. One of the biggest motivators behind this acquisition was the strides that the two technology companies could make together in the mobile device space, since Motorola already used Google’s operating system Android for its smartphone products.
Waymo is an autonomous driving technology company on a mission to build the world’s most experienced and safest driver. Previously referred to as Google’s “self-driving car project,” Waymo was founded in 2009 by co-creator of Google Street View, Sebastian Thrun. It took seven years before the technology company felt ready to release its developments to the world. In 2016, it was revealed that the self-driving car project was now its own spin-off startup called Waymo, and would be a subsidiary of Alphabet. Today, its autonomous vehicles have driven over 20 billion real-world and simulated miles and offer taxi services and trucking and delivery solutions.
Calico is a research and development company on a mission to use advanced technologies to better understand the biology of aging and how we can combat the diseases that are caused by it. Founded by Bill Maris and Arthur D. Levinson and backed by Google, Calico launched in September 2013. In 2014, the company announced a research partnership with global biopharmaceutical company, Abbvie. Calico is a self-operating subsidiary within Alphabet, with Levinson serving as CEO.
In 2021, Google completed its $2.1 billion dollar acquisition of the health and fitness technology brand Fitbit. Founded in 2007, Fitbit is an American consumer electronics company best known for its wearable technology, fitness monitors and activity trackers. It was created by James Park (CEO) and Eric Friedman (CTO) who saw the potential in inserting sensors into wearable devices. Many others saw the potential in the concept as well, which led the two to receive initial funding and thousands of preorders. Once its first product, Fitbit Classic, launched in 2009, the company quickly rose in success. Fitbit went public in 2015 and in 2019 Google announced its plans to acquire the brand. Now, Fitbit is an autonomous subsidiary of Google’s computer hardware sector.
Kitty Hawk is a “flying car” startup that’s bringing single-person and remotely-piloted electric aircraft to market. Backed by Larry Page, the company was founded in 2015 by Sebastian Thrun who previously launched Waymo. According to Forbes, KittyHawk has not yet been able to release its products to the public due to safety concerns.
Larry Page must see a big future for the flying vehicle industry because he is backing up another company in the space. Founded in 2011 by Marcus Leng, Opener is a Canadian startup manufacturing single-passenger aircrafts in the hopes of putting an end to traffic congestion. Although Opener tried to keep its investments and acquisitions private, it was eventually revealed that Larry Page acquired the company in 2014. Opener’s first flying vehicle, BlackFly, may soon hit the markets.
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