As technology’s role, reach, and impact grows in the coming years, it will face a great deal of public scrutiny and government regulation. As one of the biggest companies, Google will face a significant amount of attention, and is reorganizing the division responsible for policy and government relations.
Google last year hired Karan Bhatia as its new head of Global Policy from GE. At the large conglomerate, he was President of Government Affairs and Policy for 10 years, and previously worked at the Departments of Transportation and Commerce, as well as the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative overseeing trade policy with Africa and Asia in the early 2000s.
An internal shuffle within Google has been long-expected since his arrival, with Axios today detailing the new structure and outlook. It starts with a rename of “Public Policy” to “Government Affairs and Public Policy.”
A central group with increased staffing is responsible for tackling big issues, like antitrust and privacy, that are not specific to a service or country. This centralization should result in a more uniform stance to increasingly common issues plaguing the company. Meanwhile, other core teams will focus on major issues, and work to advise Google’s biggest products.
Another big goal reflects the company’s push for the Next Billion Users by devoting more resources to emerging markets, like Asia. Google will maintain teams focused on those regional concerns and individual products, as well as future issues.
According to Bhatia, this restructuring is designed to meet new demands spurned by “increased responsibilities, the heightened public focus on tech and the growth of our business.” The addition of “Government Affairs” specifically comes as Google needs to “successfully engage with governments and other stakeholders.”
“We are increasingly focused on the government stakeholders critical to Google’s operations and regulating the next generations of technology.”
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