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Google’s main brands in a McKinsey / GE Matrix
1. Introduction

According to the list FT Global 500 from the Financial Times, Google is worldwide on position 39 from the companies listed in the stock exchange (Financial Times, 2009). Google was founded in 1998 by the software engineers Larry Page and Sergei Brin. Nowadays, only 12 years later, it has grown to one of the greatest international companies which has a huge influence on the daily life in industrial nations. Furthermore with 66 billion US-Dollars Google is the most valuable brand in the world. They started with a search engine which has pushed the former competition like AltaVista out of business.

Google Inc. had in 2008 a turnover of almost 22 billion US-Dollars and it is still growing (Google, 2010). At the beginning they had a positive press but nowadays there are more and more critical voices because of their high market share in the search engine sector of almost 90%. Critics say that Google has too much influence and it is possible that they manipulate data. Google has many current projects where people fear a lack of their own data protection (The Register, 2009; BBC, 2007a). But Google does not have such a success because of a disregard of data protection, they are just more innovative than the competition. They reinvest the benefit they make in innovation and design new products or integrate other innovative companies in their own portfolio. Most of their projects are projects which the world has never seen before (Chaffey et al., 2009, p.3).

This piece of work organizes Google’s major brands in a GE-Matrix in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of them. Furthermore the products are evaluated to prognosticate their future in this company. Finally there is a short outline about the sense and the value of these portfolio models in the 21 century.

Figure 1: McKinsey / General Electric Matrix

McKinsey GE Matrix
1. Leader; 2. Growth Leader; 3. Try harder; 4. Cash generation; 5. Proceed with care; 6. Double or quit; 7. And 8. Phased withdrawal; 9. Withdrawal

Source: Doyle and Stern, 2006, p.110-111


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