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Alphabet said in a statement that it had offered its head of global affairs for the hearing and that “enabling Larry to focus on the other bets and long-term technical problems is exactly what Alphabet was set up for.”
Larry Page was a no-show. The co-founder and de facto leader of Google is famous for his wild bets on airborne taxis and space elevators, but he apparently couldn’t make the flight to Washington, D.C. Page had been called to testify on Capitol Hill, alongside Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, about the ways state-sponsored actors have exploited their platforms. Page spurned the request.
Yes, its revenue continues to boom. And yes, that means self-driving car unit Waymo and all the “other bets”—the eclectic mix of subsidiaries reorganized a few years ago under a new parent, Alphabet Inc.—have all the resources they need to hunt for blockbuster breakthroughs. It’s the unceasing growth of Google’s flagship properties that’s become its greatest liability.