Sep 27, 2019 - Technology

Google poaches top GOP staffer to confront antitrust threat

Google has hired Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman's chief of staff Mark Isakowitz to run its Washington, D.C. public policy office.

Why it matters: Isakowitz takes the job as Google is facing increasing regulatory pressure over its market dominance, its handing of misinformation, privacy and accusations of censoring conservative viewpoints, Axios' Kim Hart emails.

  • Google has restructured its D.C. operation and brought in new faces since hiring Karan Bhatia last year as head of government affairs and public policy. Susan Molinari has been in an advisory role since then, leaving a hole at the helm of its Washington office.
  • Isakowitz will have a VP title as head of government affairs and public policy for the U.S. and Canada, reporting to Bhatia.

Why Isakowitz, why now:

  • Portman is a central player in many aspects of the tech debate, so Isakowitz has policy chops and Hill connections.
  • He has been a lobbyist, House staffer and Senate chief — and there is no scenario where Google is not knee deep in numerous policy fights and at the mercy of Hill action.
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