Innovation

Why Alphabet Isn’t Focused On Short-Term Results

“If you’re not disrupting your own business, somebody else will disrupt your business.”

Those were the words of wisdom from Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat during The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Breakfast at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday (Jan. 21). The Google parent company CFO emphasized that the company is looking for long-term investments over short-term benefits.

Porat came to Alphabet from Morgan Stanley last May and, since then, has been focused on driving this mission home for the newly reorganized company. She explained her budgeting focus for 2016 is all about how the company can hedge its bets on the long term.

“If we’re not constantly pushing the frontier, we are not creating value for the long term,” Porat said at the event.

Citing her experience from major financial companies who have pushed themselves to the brim, she said she knows companies must focus on building at a steady pace — and at a pace that makes sense to be able to see what’s ahead.

“You would not get into a car and drive 100 miles an hour with mud on your windshield,” she gave as an analogy. “That is the lesson, particularly in businesses moving as rapidly as tech.”

Despite the many changes Alphabet has gone through in the past year, which include the new namesake that reorganized the corporate structure, Porat emphasized that the best move is for Alphabet’s various units to stick together, since resources can cross over. This means keeping YouTube under Google’s belt, she emphasized.

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