Google shakes up its Search and Maps leadership as company veterans move into new roles

Google head of Search Ben Gomes is transitioning to a different role at the company and will be replaced by Prabhakar Raghavan, according to an internal memo viewed by Business Insider.As part of the shake-up, Jen Fitzpatrick, who heads up Google’s Maps business, is also moving to a new role overseeing Google’s Core and Corp engine teams.

Ben Gomes, Google’s head of Search, is moving to a new role at the company and will be replaced by Prabhakar Raghavan, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider and confirmed by a Google spokesperson.

Raghavan was previously overseeing Google’s advertising and commerce products and will now lead the entire Search and Assistant division, and will report to CEO Sundar Pichai.

Jen Fitzpatrick, who heads up Google’s Maps business, is also stepping down from her role to oversee the core and corporate engineering teams, according to the memo. Liz Reid and Dane Glasgow will now lead Geo.

Meanwhile, Jerry Dischler, previously the vice president of product management for Google AdWords, will step up as the new head of Google Ads. Dischler will report to Raghavan.

The changes were announced in a memo circulated to staff by CEO Sundar Pichai and viewed by Business Insider. The news was first reported by Search Engine Land.

“Ben, after two extraordinary decades building Search from the group up, will move to a new role tying our longstanding efforts for learning — across areas like Education and Arts & Culture — more closely to our flagship products and core user experiences,” Pichai wrote in the memo.

Gomes is a Google veteran who has run Google’s core Search business for most of his time there. In 2018, when then-head of Search John Giannandrea stepped down, Gomes was announced as his replacement to lead the entire team. Gomes will move to focus on areas such as education but remain a product and technical adviser on Search, according to the memo.

Fitzpatrick, who like Gomes has been at the company for more than 20 years, has been leading Google’s Maps division since 2014.

Pichai said the new role would give Fitzpatrick “the opportunity to further improve our cross-product and cross-PA systems and user experiences, as well as deliver great experiences to both Googlers and developers.”

Pichai’s memo opened by acknowledging the timing of the news in regard to the tense political situation in the US right now.

“Given everything that’s going on in the world, I recognize this is not a great time to be making changes to how we work,” he wrote. “Last week we started to roll out this announcement and held it back out of respect for what our colleagues — most especially Black Googlers — are dealing with. In the source of preparing for these changes, we had to inform a number of people of our plans, and the news naturally began to filter out to more and more people.”

He added: “It’s important to me that Googlers hear about changes affecting their work in the right way, rather than through rumors or news stories. Since we did not think we could successfully hold back the news any longer, I am sharing this with you today.”

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