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Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Google’s top policy executive is reorganizing the company's worldwide lobbying operation, according to an internal email obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The long-planned shake-up comes as the search giant faces newly hostile regulators around the world.

What they’re saying: “Our increased responsibilities, the heightened public focus on tech and the growth of our business are placing greater demands on Google than ever before, and those demands will only increase,” said Karan Bhatia, who leads public policy around the world, in his email.

  • “This reorganization restructures our function to better meet those demands and to successfully engage with governments and other stakeholders.”

Details:

  • The shift includes adding employees to a central group focused on issues that transcend geography or products, like privacy and antitrust, said a source with direct knowledge of Google’s plans. Other teams will focus on region-by-region concerns, issues specific to individual products and anticipating future challenges.
  • The company will focus more resources on emerging markets, said the person with knowledge of its plans.
  • Bhatia has also stocked his leadership ranks from inside and outside the company. Two current Google employees, Leslie Miller and Wilson White, will lead the core team focused on major issues and the team advising the firm's biggest products, respectively. New hire and former ambassador Ted Osius will run its work in Asia, and executive Pablo Chavez will continue to focus on cloud computing issues.

The unit, formerly known as "Public Policy," will become "Government Affairs and Public Policy."

  • Bhatia told employees the new name reflects that "that, while we will always emphasize strong thought leadership on public policy issues, we are increasingly focused on the government stakeholders critical to Google’s operations and regulating the next generations of technology."

Yes, but: The company has yet to hire someone to lead its Washington office — a key role as a divided Congress weighs a national privacy law.

Flashback: The company appointed GE veteran Bhatia to lead its global policy apparatus last summer. In November, former Rep. Susan Molinari, head of its DC office, said she was stepping away from that role.

  • Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Bhatia was deciding whether he would make major changes to its federal lobbying operation.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

Jan. 6 committee to start contempt proceedings against Meadows

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee plans to move forward with contempt proceedings against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for his refusal to comply with the panel's subpoena.

Why it matters: The committee has used the threat of contempt — and the associated financial and reputational costs — to try to ensure evasive witnesses sit for their depositions.

Complaint to FTC: Amazon search results full of potentially deceiving ads

Photo: Nigel Kirby/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Amazon does not sufficiently distinguish between its search results and paid ads, potentially "deceiving millions of consumers," according to a complaint filed to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Joan Moriarty, research director for the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions that filed the complaint, told the Washington Post the group is "very hopeful" that the FTC will investigate the complaint because Lina Khan (D), a known Amazon critic, is now chair.