Updated May 31, 2023 - Technology

Scoop: Corey duBrowa departs Google to serve as CEO of BCW

Credit: Google

Corey duBrowa will depart Google and parent company Alphabet in June to serve as CEO of global public relations firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), Axios has learned.

Why it matters: DuBrowa's departure comes at a pivotal time for Google as the tech giant embarks on the generative artificial intelligence race.

  • However, his experience with AI will come in handy.
  • WPP — the largest advertising holding group in the world and parent company of BCW — recently partnered with NVIDIA to launch generative AI tools for advertising and content creation.

Catch up quick: DuBrowa joined the tech giant in 2018 to lead communications and public affairs and served as a key adviser to Google leadership, reporting directly to CEO Sundar Pichai.

  • Prior to joining Google, he served as chief communications officer at Salesforce and held leadership positions at Starbucks, Waggener Edstrom and Ketchum.

Between the lines: DuBrowa shepherded the company through its recent cultural shift — from the much-talked-about bro-y work environment, under former CEO Eric Schmidt and founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, to one that's less so under Pichai.

  • Yes, but: He still presided over a number of conflicts, including the controversial ouster of AI researcher Timnit Gebru and several additional exits that followed.

State of play: duBrowa will take the helm as BCW's CEO in August. He will succeed Donna Imperato, who announced her retirement in January.

  • DuBrowa will also serve on WPP's executive committee and oversee sister companies AxiCom, Direct Impact, GCI Health, HZ and Prime Policy Group.

What they're saying: "It has been the privilege of a lifetime, and of a career, to serve as the person responsible for this team, our work and the role we uniquely play for the company, "duBrowa wrote in an internal Google note obtained by Axios.

  • "Sundar [Pichai] has been HUGELY supportive of Comms and of me personally during the five years I've been here. I am grateful to him for the opportunity and am confident that [global communications and public affairs] will play a vital role as the company continues to evolve and grow."
  • Of note, longtime Google executive Rob Shilkin will oversee the team for now and will report to chief marketing officer Lorraine Twohill.
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