Alphabet’s cybersecurity spinout is being folded into Google Cloud, a coup for Google exec Thomas Kurian that raises questions about the future of the Alphabet structure

Alphabet’s cybersecurity arm, Chronicle, is being absorbed into Google and will join forces the company’s Cloud division, Thomas Kurian, the company’s Cloud chief, wrote on Thursday.

The move makes strategic sense for Google Cloud – which under the leadership of Oracle veteran, Kurian – has been bulking up its team as of late, most recently acquiring the data analytics company Looker in early June for $2.6 billion. Bringing on the Chronicle team will help bolster Google Cloud’s security offerings.

Still, the decision to fold Chronicle back into Google shows just how complicated the Alphabet corporate structure has become.

Chronicle started in Alphabet’s moonshot factory, X, in 2016 and “graduated” to become its own, separate company (under the Alphabet umbrella) by January 2018.

When it announced the launch of its first commercial product, Backstory, in March 2019, CEO Gillett touted Chronicle’s independence from Google, saying: “Google people can’t even badge into our buildings.”

Now, it will be the Chronicle team that will soon need to badge into Google’s buildings. Kurian wrote that Chronicle will join Google Cloud in the coming weeks and that a full transition is expected to be completed by this fall.

A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment about how Thursday’s news could impact the future Alphabet structure.

In a separate blog post announcing the transition, Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett said that Google Cloud has already built its own products for “detecting threats and securing data,” but that “by combining our solutions, we can give customers a unique, single platform for securing their systems both on premise and in the cloud.”

Chronicle is not the first Alphabet company to be re-absorbed into Google. Nest, which was acquired by Google in 2014, once stood as it’s own “Other Bet” under the tech giant’s corporate umbrella. By 2018, however, Nest was brought back into the Google mothership to join forces with its in-house hardware team.

Though combining forcing with Kurian’s expanding Cloud division makes sound business sense, the timing is a curious one for Google – which reportedly could face an antitrust probe by the US Justice Department. Moving resources away from Alphabet and into Google could hurt future arguments for a company that may need to prove it has not grown too big.

Source: BusinessInsider