Updated from 9:23 a.m. with current stock price.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google's (GOOG) - Get Report (GOOGL) - Get Report surprise corporate structure announcement yesterday afternoon is what Wall Street has been asking for from the company for years: more transparency.
Suddenly, and unexpectedly, Wall Street has what it's been looking for.
The restructure puts Larry Page and Sergey Brin -- the company's co-founders -- in charge of the whole business, but the main Google search business is now becoming its own subsidiary of Alphabet, a holding company, and reporting its results separately from the moonshots. Sundar Pichai is being elevated to run all of core Google, which also includes YouTube and Android.
The way I read the release is that Page and Brin are going to be spending more of their available time on the moonshots.
Wall Street will like this (and it already does, with shares higher by 4.6% in morning trading on the back of the announcement). It can see exactly what the core search business is doing on its own with YouTube and Android. It will also see a well-respected and rigorous executive running Google in Pichai. Whether he deserves it or not, Wall Street will likely be more trusting of Pichai in charge of the controls of Google search than Page or Brin.
Wall Street also likes Alphabet's new CFO, Ruth Porat. On the last earnings call, she pledged expense controls at the company, which was music to analysts' ears. Now, a few weeks later, we have an upended management structure which gives more visibility into the core business. Is it a coincidence?
Wall Street is again likely to credit Porat for having some influence behind the throne here.
The bump in the share price reflects the fact that Wall Street analysts are now more likely than yesterday to hive off all the moonshot investments in their own subsidiary, separate from Google core. The sum-of-the-parts analysis is likelier to yield a higher valuation than yesterday.
Is that rational? No. Is it how Wall Street functions in reality? Yes.
There are a couple of other interesting things to note as part of this announcement.
- Another motivating factor in this shake up -- which probably was more important in Page and Brin's minds than pleasing Wall Street -- was retaining Sundar Pichai. It's no secret that he's been heavily recruited to leave Google over the last few years (most famously by Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report). His rise within Google has been almost perfectly correlated to how much interest there was from the outside of the company to get him to leave. Even though Page and Brin are still in charge of the whole company, it's remarkable that Page is stepping aside from running the core business. (Previously Page watched Mark Zuckerberg never leave the helm of Facebook (FB) - Get Report, and possibly was jealous, leading him to take over from Eric Schmidt.) It says how important Page sees Pichai to the company's future.
- Omid Kordestani is stepping down from his second gig as head of sales for Google, but will remain an adviser to Alphabet. Could he be in the mix for the Twitter CEO job now?
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.