Wednesday, December 04, 2019

No wartime consigliere

Ol' Pikachu isn't remotely capable of addressing the challenges that are heading Google's way. He isn't even tough enough to stand up to his own SJW employees:
Google’s employees are openly revolting over the company’s handling of sexual harassment and controversial executives hires like Miles Taylor, the former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff who defended the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban. Last month, 200 employees in San Francisco protested Google’s various contentious decisions. Shortly after, four of the protesters were fired. Google has denied that the employees were fired for organizing. Now those former employees, dubbed the “Thanksgiving Four” plan to file charges against Google with the National Labor Relations Board.

Meanwhile, Google is investigating its own executives over inappropriate relationships they may have had with subordinates, CNBC first reported last month. That includes Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, who recently married an employee in Google’s legal department and faces a string of damaging allegations from another former employee with whom he had an extramarital affair.

Next, there’s YouTube, which has faced controversy after controversy in recent years, ranging from pedophiles lurking in video comments where underage children appear, to the spread of conspiracy theories about victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year. (We’d be here all day if I listed every recent YouTube crisis and failure.)

And then there are the dollars and cents. Growth in Google’s core digital advertising business is slowing, and the pressure is mounting for the company to find new areas of expansion. While its cloud and hardware businesses are showing some promise, they still make up a tiny fraction of Google’s overall revenue. At its core, Google is still an advertising company.

But that’s just the internal stuff. Outside the company, nearly every state attorney general in the country is looking into antitrust violations related to Google’s ad business. CNBC reported last month that the probes may expand into Google’s search business as well. The FTC and Department of Justice are also said to be looking at Google’s potential antitrust violations.

With so much scrutiny from regulators and attorneys general, there will almost certainly be some sort of action taken, and Pichai is now the one who has to steer the ship as various government agencies seek to punish his company. Page and Brin picked the perfect time to step down and protect themselves.
It's informative to see how the founders of the last wave of Silicon Valley giants are all running for the exits as the markets hit a historic peak. The smart money is getting out while it can.

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Blogger Crew December 04, 2019 3:22 PM  

They should be broken up!

Blogger Tanjil Bren December 04, 2019 3:32 PM  

"...It's coming."

Blogger Al K. Annossow December 04, 2019 3:33 PM  

The smart money is getting out while it can.

Huh. And if they are no longer officers in the company, they don't have to report their selling as insider transactions. Insider transactions are public information.

Blogger David Ray Milton December 04, 2019 3:48 PM  

Happy Hunting Vox.

Does anyone know where I can get some high quality & buttery popcorn? I already have all the bourbon I’ll need for the show:

Blogger dc.sunsets December 04, 2019 4:05 PM  

The behavior of those managing tech giants continued ONLY as long as the Capital-Gains-Uber-Alles market marched higher. This was one signal among many that Social Mood remained pinned to the high limit. This has been a social mood mania for All Time.

Stocks tops require certain ingredients, and many potential tops in the last 25 years have proved head-fakes. This past week stocks put in a minuscule element of one of those ingredients. But right now all of 2019 looks like a wedge into a high, and the DJIA's final push above 28,000 looked anemic. Of course, stocks are irrelevant compared to bonds. As long as those who trade bonds remain confident that the OCEAN of IOU's is as good as gold, all other current trends can keep sailing off the edge of sanity's map.

Someday, this too will end. I do not know of an historical precedent when so many people were disaffected even as the Top Line zoomed higher. When the top line fails, and a bear market in social mood commensurate with the manic rally arrives, the accumulating reservoir of boiling rage will surely break its dam. No one is more enraged than those accustomed to ease and sloth are tossed head-first into hardship.

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei December 04, 2019 4:09 PM  

Is there no word for "scapegoat" in Hindi? Page and Brin are still running things with their controlling interests, so he's good for nothing but absorbing the blast. They probably should have over-promoted some purple-haired hambeast from their herd for that.

Blogger JG December 04, 2019 4:24 PM  

The curious thing is that it would be easy to clean SJWs from Google, if anyone had the balls to do it. It's all out in the open at Google, as VD has documented, in the internal version of Google+.

All it takes is balls and a willingness to lop off heads.

Blogger Boaty Bear December 04, 2019 4:28 PM  

Just watched BBs inaugural livestream this evening (UK)

No Glitching
No Grabbling
No Problem

Vix Day + BB = The only confirmed "Crushin Collusion"

Blogger FUBARwest December 04, 2019 4:31 PM  

Would be a shame if Google opens themselves up to costly legal issue while all this is going on. A real shame...

Blogger TheMaleRei December 04, 2019 5:12 PM  

Google skulls for the Dark Lord!

Blogger doctrev December 04, 2019 5:31 PM  

Can anyone keep Google's head above water? If they don't terminally converge, the left will attack them. If they terminally converge, the President will have to sack them just to survive. And that's just in America. Europe would love to take their pound of flesh.

There are no good options for them.

Blogger Jim the Curmudgeon December 04, 2019 5:48 PM  

My suspicion is that Pichai was promoted precisely because he isn't a leader, but rather a functionary who won't contest the will of Page and Brin. He was nowhere during the Damore crisis, disappearing from view, cancelling the TGIF and letting the lawyers draft a public statement. He seems to have the personality of a baked potato, which is precisely what you want in an apparatchik.

The ousting of left wing employees, ending of TGIF, bans on political discussion, (etc) seem to indicate that the Wall Street types want to see less activism and more performance ala Microsoft. The fact is that Google lost to a dinosaur, MSFT has completely outperformed them of late. But for advertising, Google would be screwed.

If ad growth is slowing, they are in trouble. Everything else they touch turns rotten... fitbit customers are already bailing.

Blogger Azimus December 04, 2019 5:54 PM  

The bigger they are...

Blogger Balkan Yankee December 04, 2019 6:12 PM  

From Google to Giggle.

Just like that.

Blogger Keith December 04, 2019 6:31 PM  

>Page and Brin are still running things with their controlling interests, so he's good for nothing but absorbing the blast.

That's part of it, like some free insurance for themselves, but I think this is mostly about signalling a shift away from their China strategy and going with an India play instead.

Blogger Rhino Bear December 04, 2019 8:58 PM  

Stadia is a great gaming platform.

The three people who are using it are very pleased.

Blogger Unknown December 04, 2019 8:59 PM  

Now all we need is to pass a law that allows the American government or individual investors to go after all these golden parachutes.

Blogger James Dixon December 04, 2019 9:54 PM  

> Ol' Pikachu isn't remotely capable of addressing the challenges that are heading Google's way.

It couldn't happen to a more deserving person.

> Does anyone know where I can get some high quality & buttery popcorn?

How much are you looking for?

8 lbs:
12 lbs:
50 lbs:

You'll have to add your own butter though.

Blogger Monotonous Languor December 04, 2019 10:06 PM  

Are they eating their own yet? One can but hope...

The left's insistence on reflexively branding everything as “hate” has created its own dynamic in the form of a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the outset most people experienced a kind of intellectual disgust and visceral revulsion. But with the left's seemingly endless insanity and arrogant destruction of everything we hold dear, now I really do hate them, with all the fervor, conviction, commitment, and consequences that implies. And, please God, give somebody, anybody on our side in government the backbone to pursue antitrust procedures against corporatist converged tech, all the way to its bitter denouement.

Blogger Dwayne Thundergrit December 04, 2019 10:53 PM  

Ukraine is no longer a reliable cash cow.

Trump is putting tariffs on the import streams that have routinely paid the democrats under the table in return for their inaction.

Don't forget Trump smacking the EU around every chance he gets. Do you really believe they had market advantages over US based companies without paying?

Mexican drug gangs will soon be listed as terrorist organizations so there goes another cash cow.

The democrats are looking at something of an Endangered Cash Cow list and given the fact that the wealthy folks who make the big cash donations to the democrats are usually just another link in the laundry chain and not out a cent of their own money, Cash Cows dying off is going to have way more impact on the democrat machine than the impeachment circus or green new deal will.

Blogger FrankNorman December 05, 2019 3:23 AM  

A few years back, the company I work at had the clever idea of getting rid of it's internal email servers and outsourcing the whole thing to Google. So now all the internal email traffic goes through Gmail.

What happens to all the email if Google implodes?

For that matter, what happens to blogspot?

Blogger Section 8A December 05, 2019 6:31 AM  

This guy Pichai comes across like an ineffective middle school assistant principal.

Blogger Nate December 05, 2019 8:34 AM  

Google's headquarters is like a perpetual Socialist Party of America national convention.... and they wonder why they can't get anything done.

Blogger James Dixon December 05, 2019 9:12 AM  

> What happens to all the email if Google implodes? ... For that matter, what happens to blogspot?

The same thing that happens if Google decides to shut them down, they go away. If you company doesn't have backups, they're screwed.

Blogger Maniac December 05, 2019 9:18 AM  

I would've thought that Google's sifting through our medical records would be the final straw, but I guess not.

Blogger Iron Spartan December 05, 2019 9:49 AM  

How much more of a purity spiral before google really implodes?

Blogger Damelon Brinn December 05, 2019 10:10 AM  

Yeah, if you want to save your email (or anything else on the Internet), learn to download it. The only copies you can count on are your own.

Google gave advance warning when they shut down services like Reader and Google+, but those weren't important. Gmail is important to them and their stock price. If it goes down, it will be from neglect and/or malice, so don't expect any heads-up.

Blogger Tars Tarkas December 05, 2019 10:30 AM  

The Austrians say when the tide goes out, that is when all of the malinvestment is revealed. It's hard to imagine how something like YT could work when borrowing costs are not at or near record lows. There was just an interview of Susan on 60 minutes where she said they are adding 500 hours of video every minute. That number is up from 400 about a year ago and that was up from before that. If they start deleting old videos, that is going to greatly take away from the most useful aspect of the platform. But I don't see how they can keep adding ever increasing hours of video every single minute of every single day in perpetuity.
It will be interesting to see just how many of these social media companies are viable when the near free money dries up. Personally, I would pay for YT, but nothing else.

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