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Google Aims to Move Faster to Meet ‘Systemic’ Challenges


Google aims to move faster and get closer to its customers as it meets “systemic” challenges.

Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president at Google responsible for search, assistant, geo, ads, commerceand payments products, told employees this during an all-hands meeting in March, CNBC reported Tuesday (April 23), citing an audio recording of the event.

Raghavan will require his reports to complete certain projects more quickly, while Google plans to build teams in India, Brazil and other key markets to get closer to its customers, according to the report.

The company is also reducing the number of layers of management, the report said.

Asked by CNBC to comment on Raghavan’s address, a Google spokesperson said: “With a huge opportunity ahead, we’re moving with velocity and focus.”

The changes outlined by Raghavan come in response to “systemic” challenges facing Google in the search industry, according to the CNBC report.

Raghavan said there is stronger competition, more challenging regulation in the form of the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA), and a greater need to invest in infrastructure due to the rise of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), per the report.

Google’s search business — which has dominated the industry for two decades — may be challenged by new GenAI applications that give users another way to find information online, according to the report.

In addition, there are fewer new devices coming into use, according to the report.

“What that means is our growth in this new operating reality has to be hard earned,” Rahavan said, per the report.

This news comes about a week after it was reported that Google is laying off an unspecified number of employees and shifting some roles to other countries as part of a continuing effort to cut costs.

A Google spokesperson told Reuters: “Throughout the second half of 2023 and into 2024, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, remove layers and align their resources to their biggest product priorities.”

Days later, on Thursday (April 18), Google announced that it is consolidating teams that focus on building AImodels across Google Research and Google DeepMind, with all this work now to be done within Google DeepMind.