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Alphabet drops Google’s ‘don’t be evil’ in favor of ‘do the right thing’ in new code of conduct


Google has somewhat famously adopted the the phrase ‘don’t be evil’ as a business-wide mantra in the past. In fact, it was written in the company’s code of conduct for employees. With the company adopting an entirely new structure, the time has finally come for the mantra to change. Alphabet, the new holding company’s message to employees: Do the right thing.

“Employees of Alphabet and its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates should do the right thing — follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.”

Google announced just this summer that it was restructuring the company to allow more diverse and widespread focus on a variety of products and technologies. Whether it’s robotics, automated vehicles, life sciences or even internet provided by hot air balloon, Google’s tech was far too broad to be nailed down to one single company. Instead, it’s been replaced by Alphabet which — although announced a couple of months ago — officially came into being yesterday, and is a holding company of many smaller companies. One of which is Google.

As the company ‘went live’ so did this new code of conduct. Google’s code of conduct is still listed under Alphabet’s, and you’ll be glad to know that it still has ‘don’t be evil’ mentioned several times. After all, it’s part of the DNA of this weird and wonderful company.

“Don’t be evil.” Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But “Don’t be evil” is much more than that. Yes, it’s about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally – following the law, acting honorably and treating each other with respect.

Even at the end of Google’s new code of conduct, you’ll see a transition to the words used by the new parent company: Do the right thing. It’s new language to represent the new company, and although the words are different, the message is still very much the same.

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