Unlike Google, Alphabet doesn't tell employees not to be evil

Larry Page

Google officially became Alphabet Friday afternoon, but the new parent company has done away with its predecessor's well-known motto, "Don't be evil."

Alphabet posted its new code of conduct for employees Friday afternoon and that famed phrase was notably absent, as first noticed by The Wall Street Journal's Alistair Barr.

The two codes of conduct are markedly different: The Google code, written for its 2004 IPO, is much longer and includes rules relating to co-worker relationships, pets, and at-work alcohol consumption, while Alphabet's sticks to the basics, like about how employees should maintain integrity and avoid bribery.

By omitting the line and releasing a more general code of conducting, Alphabet leaves room for each of its subdivisions - like hardware maker Nest or moonshot factory Google X - to form their own rules and company cultures. But, still, it's fairly jarring, given how, as Google's reach has expanded, "Don't be evil" had become so symbolic to its supporters and critics alike.

Also perhaps because Alphabet's first line - which states that employees should "follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect" - just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Don't be evil" does.

Here's the preface to Google's code:

Google Dont be evil

And to Alphabet's:

Alphabet

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