Google's morphing into a holding company is officially complete, and parent Alphabet Inc. is now ready to set new directions for the group. On Friday, Oct.2, Alphabet posted its code of conduct and it is slightly different from Google's.
Google's code of conduct is an example of smart, quirky wording that appeals to its employees. The edgy line "Don't be evil" even made it into the filling for the companies' public listing in 2004.
Alphabet refused to include that phrase and opted for a more conservative, yet flexible formula. "[You] should do the right thing - follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect," Alphabet advised its staff in the code of conduct.
The general tone is simple and calm, urging people to avoid conflicts of interest, follow rules, don't break the law and keep a high level of integrity in their work. One reason for the brief code is that Alphabet wants to give free hand to subsidiaries to create their internal regulations. That is why the size of Alphabet's code of conduct is nothing compared to the tome from Google.
Google always aimed at being different in the IT field, and "Don't be evil" was part of the branding strategy. It was also used by critics, every time the search engine giant strayed from the righteous path.
The code that Google's employees follow is larger than Alphabet's, and is very detailed. Most aspects regarding the work environment are regulated. For example, some alcohol consumption is allowed, but not encouraged. Bringing pets to the office is possible, but dogs are favored.
"If they start bringing cats to work, there's gonna be trouble with a capital T," a Google spokesman stated.
Most of Alphabet's employees are still under direct Google supervision, as they are engaged in the search-and-advertising unit. The unit is the holding's biggest division and still runs under the "Don't be evil" adagio.
The new code of conduct is a sign that Google is keeping pace with the times and is ready to let its divisions create alternative business cultures.
"Individual Alphabet companies may of course have their own codes to ensure they continue to promote compliance and great values," the spokesman added.