Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When he was recently named CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai inherited a long list of issues in need of tackling — everything from addressing privacy and antitrust concerns, to managing an increasingly vocal workforce, to ensuring the future of the company's products.

The big picture: As Google CEO, Pichai was already responsible for much of this portfolio. Now, the buck truly stops with him.

Here's what Pichai's to-do list now looks like:

1. Balance privacy against Google's thirst for data. Privacy is an industrywide concern, but the challenge is especially large for a company that prides itself on collecting all the world's information.

  • Historically, that has meant the company gathers a lot of personal by following users as they journey across the internet.
  • This year, Google began touting privacy as a feature, with Pichai noting that in many cases Google actually has more information than it needs to serve up ads.
  • Balancing the quest for more data in a world of artificial intelligence with the growing demand for privacy protections remains a top task for Pichai.

2. Dodge the antitrust barrage. For a company that dominates the global search business, Google has been able to largely contain the impact of antitrust concerns for most of its history, despite a number of probes around the globe. A reckoning could be coming, however.

  • The EU has already ruled against the company a number of times, and fresh investigations are looming in the U.S. at both the state and federal levels.
  • When Pichai testifies on Capitol Hill in his new role, at least he will no longer face irritation from lawmakers complaining the company should have sent Larry Page instead.

3. Contain employee dissent without wrecking company culture. Google is dealing with an increasingly vocal workforce eager to have a say on everything from where the company does business, to what businesses it is in, to how workers (and vendors and contractors) are treated.

  • The company is straining to reconcile business realities with its long history of encouraging employees to speak out and sharing lots of internal information with them.
  • Workers have walked out over how the company has handled sexual harassment complaints and protested the prospect of Google contracts with China and the U.S. military.
  • Four recently dismissed employees who say they were fired for organizing work have filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board.

4. Rehabilitate YouTube's image. Although Susan Wojcicki is CEO of the Google-owned video service, she reports to Pichai, and ultimately, he is responsible for the content moderation challenges that go with being home to billions of hours of video.

  • YouTube is under increased scrutiny not just for which videos are allowed on the site and which are banned, but also for which are promoted by the platform's recommendation algorithm, and for the conditions borne by workers who scan for inappropriate content.

5. Defend the search franchise. Google continues to dominate its core business, but the company faces increased challenges.

  • As search moves from something you type in a box to a picture you take or a command you speak, competitors like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft may find new ways to win market share from Google.

6. Figure out what to do with "other bets." This is the newest area for Pichai, who now is responsible not only for Google's advertising business, but also for the longer-term plays grouped under the Alphabet umbrella in health, autonomous cars and other "moonshots."

The bottom line: There was a lot on Pichai's plate before, and even more now. He'll now have more autonomy. But ultimately, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin still own a controlling interest in the company, so Pichai still has to keep them happy.

Go deeper: Sundar Pichai defends YouTube practices (Axios on HBO)

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
52 mins ago - Economy & Business

Investors pour millions into immersive, interactive art experiences

Photo Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

How much would you pay for "a sleek, if pleasantly confusing, package of moods" or "a confusing tangle of disjointed installations" or even "the total erosion of meaning itself"? The answer, according to the current market-clearing price, seems to be about $35.

Why it matters: Investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ticketed experiences — immersive, interactive museum-like spaces that don't have the d0-not-touch stuffiness of traditional museums.

Special Envoy for Haiti resigns over Biden deportations

Daniel Foote testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on May 26, 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Special Envoy for Haiti on Wednesday resigned from his position, writing in his resignation letter obtained by PBS that he "will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees."

Why it matters: Ambassador Daniel Foote's resignation comes amid heightened anger over the treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers living in a temporary encampment in Del Rio, Texas — especially after images surfaced of Border Patrol agents whipping at the migrants from horseback.

First-time homebuyers shrink as prices spike

Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home sales cooled as prices continued to heat up in August.

Driving the news: The share of first-time existing homebuyers (29%) last month was the smallest in two years, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.