You may have seen the news (http://goo.gl/KjRE4q) that Google and I will be starting a new company focused on health, aging and well-being, called Calico. I’m honored and incredibly enthusiastic about this opportunity, and eager to get started. 

I suspect there are a lot of questions, such as how this came about, what we hope to accomplish, and why “Calico.” When I served on Google’s board, +Larry Page and I got to know each other well—and when he and Bill Maris approached me about a venture that would take the long term view on aging and illness, I was deeply intrigued. For example, what underlies aging?  Might there be a direct link between certain diseases and the aging process? We agreed that with great people, a strong culture and vision and a healthy disregard for the impossible, we could make progress tackling these questions, and improving people’s lives. 

Calico is an abbreviation for the “California Life Company,” but if you’re thinking about cats, we like the old saying that they have nine lives... 

I want to thank several people who have been supportive of this venture, especially Tim Cook, Franz Humer, Bill Maris and my family. 

Finally, this would not be possible without Larry, whose focus on outsized improvements is motivating and inspiring, and I couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead. 
I’m excited to announce Calico, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.  Art Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple, will be Chief Executive Officer.

OK … so you’re probably thinking wow!  That’s a lot different from what Google does today.  And you’re right.  But as we explained in our first letter to shareholders, there’s tremendous potential for technology more generally to improve people’s lives.  So don’t be surprised if we invest in projects that seem strange or speculative compared with our existing Internet businesses.  And please remember that new investments like this are very small by comparison to our core business.

Art and I are excited about tackling aging and illness.  These issues affect us all—from the decreased mobility and mental agility that comes with age, to life-threatening diseases that exact a terrible physical and emotional toll on individuals and families.  And while this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people.

Our press release has a few more details though it’s still very early days so there’s not much more to share yet.  Of course when Art has something more substantial to communicate (and that will likely take time), he’ll provide an update.  Finally, thanks to Bill Maris for helping bring this idea to life and getting Art involved, and to Sergey Brin for consistently supporting 10X thinking like this.  It’s hard for many companies to make long term investments.  So I’m tremendously excited about the innovative new way we’re funding this project.  Now for the hard work!

http://googlepress.blogspot.com/2013/09/calico-announcement.html
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