As evidenced by the European Union’s recent $5 billion fine against Android, Google — along with the entire tech industry — is facing more scrutiny around the world as technology plays an increasing role. The company today elevated general counsel Kent Walker to lead global affairs and take a more public-facing role in front of governments.
As reported by CNBC this morning, Google’s top lawyer is now taking a bigger job at the company leading policy, legal, trust and safety, and philanthropy teams in his new role as Senior Vice President of Global Affairs. His new purview includes recently hired global head of policy Karan Bhatia, Jacquelline Fuller at Google.org, and head of trust and safety Kristie Canagello.
A long-time Googler, Walker previously held positions at eBay and AOL, as well as working at the Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the early 1990s.
In recent months, the SVP has been involved in Google AI principles following the outcry on using computer vision to sift through drone footage for the Department of Defense’s Project Maven, while also playing a role in the “Grow with Google” initiative to offer training in light of increasing automation in traditional careers.
CNBC also notes that his new role of interfacing with governments around the world is similar to Eric Schmidt’s previous position as chairman of the Alphabet board. Schmidt stepped down earlier this year, but remains as a technical advisor to the company.