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Alphabet has added Frances Arnold to its board of directors to support the company’s science-related efforts which may take its stock higher.
Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced that it has added Nobel laureate Frances Arnold to its board of directors. Arnold who received 2018’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is now the third woman on the tech giant’s board.
In a tweet posted yesterday by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Arnold will be bringing her “incredible academic and industry expertise with a career spanning chemistry, engineering, renewable energy and more,” to the company.
I’m thrilled to welcome @francesarnold to the Alphabet Board of Directors. Frances brings incredible academic and industry expertise with a career spanning chemistry, engineering, renewable energy and more — and a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Looking forward to working with her!
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) December 9, 2019
The first woman on Alphabet’s board of directors is Ann Mather who used to be the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of computer animation company Pixar studios but joined Alphabet in 2005. Months ago, Alphabet appointed Robin Washington as a new board member, making her the second woman on the team. The board comprises 11 people in total.
Alphabet has been taking a deep dive into other sectors such as healthcare as well as renewable energy and it is thought that the addition of Arnold as a board member is a valuable move in that direction. It is also hoped that it will help in the trust department where Alphabet has been failing for many years, especially as it currently has anti-trust issues leveled against it.
Apart from her Nobel in Chemistry, Arnold is generally respected in the sciences and is currently a member of the U.S. Academies of Science, Medicine and Engineering as well.
According to an official SEC filing by Alphabet Inc. Chairman of the Board of Directors John L. Hennessy, Arnold will be granted an initial equity award of $1,000,000 in Alphabet Restricted Stock Units (GSU) and after every annual shareholder meeting, will receive $350,000 in GSU and $75,000 cash retainer for the previous year.
In addition to Alphabet’s efforts in healthcare and renewable energy, the company’s Waymo division is also a strong contender in the field of autonomous vehicles. According to financial services and investment firm Wedbush Securities Inc., Alphabet’s Waymo leads all other brands in this sector. The financial services firm predicts that by 2030, Alphabet will have spent close to a trillion dollars in research and development of autonomous vehicles and related technology as well. Already, Wedbush estimates annual Alphabet’s investment to be around $1 billion, way higher than other companies are spending.
As far as this sector is concerned, Pichai’s appointment is expected to be a game-changer as it is predicted he most likely will focus a lot of attention on Waymo. Market analysts predict that there will be a significant financial pump into Waymo sometime in the next 18 months.
Regardless of its position in the market, Alphabet’s Waymo still has to compete with other companies making significant progress including Ford, Tesla, DiDi, and Uber, among others.
Alphabet’s GOOGL stock is currently trading just a little above $1,349 with a one-month 3.22% performance and year to date (YTD) returns of 28.14%. While other stocks such as Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) have pulled in bigger YTD returns, some quarters have predicted that Pichai’s appointment just might be what the company needs, to be at par with the two aforementioned stocks. To be fair, others believe that things are might get worse because Pichai is already stretched thin with Google and the decision to also make him CEO of Alphabet might not bode well.