Google has elevated Prabhakar Raghavan as the Head of Search and Assistant. Raghavan will be taking over from Ben Gomes who is moving to a new role within the company and will report to Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai. Ben however will continue managing the commerce and payments business and the Next Billion Users unit.
This organizational rejig that will see its search engine, advertising, and commerce business come under the same person. This move was first reported by Search Engine Land.
Google's advertising business will now be spearheaded by Jerry Dischler who will report to Raghavan. Dischler currently leads the product and engineering team for Google's ads business.
Meanwhile, Ben Gomes is moving to a new role, leading the search giant's learning initiatives across areas like education and arts & culture, with the aim of tying them closely to Google's flagship products and core user experiences.
In an email to employees, Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said, “Ben will remain a product and technical advisor on Search and will also partner closely with Google.org on the product and technical initiatives related to our corporate philanthropy priorities.”
In another change, Google Maps Senior Vice-President Jen Fitzpatrick will also move to a new role, leading the company's core and corporate engineering teams, that comprises of 8,000 employees.
Raghavan, who joined Google in 2012, was named as the Head of the tech giant’s advertising and commerce business in 2018. This role encompassed the supervision of search, display and video advertising, analytics, shopping, payments, and travel segments. Prior to that, he was serving as Vice-President of Google Apps and Google Cloud, overseeing its engineering, products, and user experience. Before joining Google, Raghavan had also led search teams among multiple roles at IBM and Yahoo. It is this vast experience that he will bring to his new role at Google.
These significant changes come at a time of much upheaval, signs that the company is positioning itself for a new era. On account of COVID-19, Google has also allowed employees to work from home until the end of 2020.