Google’s End of an Era

Alan Murray, writing for Fortune:

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down from running Alphabet, leaving the company to Sundar Pichai. This likely signals the end of an era, when Google tried to solve a vast array of human problems under Alphabet’s broad umbrella—but pretty much failed to turn any of them into a profitable business. The notion then was that Google was not just an awesome search and advertising business, but rather a whole new way of doing business. (See Jeff Jarvis’ book, What Would Google Do?) With the founders’ departure, it once again becomes just an awesome search and advertising business.

I had the rare opportunity to interview Larry Page at the very beginning of the Alphabet age, at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco in 2015. When people ask me to name my favorite CEO interview, I often cite this one—mainly because Page’s answers were so remarkably unrehearsed.

My favorite part of the conversation was this:

Me: Is there any company out there you look at and say, “That’s kind of what we want to be”?

Page: Mmmmm…No.