Originally published: November 9, 2011
Last updated: December 21, 2011 - 2:15am
There’s an opening for one of the most plum tech gigs in Washington — the head of Google’s D.C. shop — and the search giant’s decision on a successor to Alan Davidson could speak volumes about the company’s strategy to contend with mounting problems in the nation’s capital.
Speculation is already swirling over whom Google might hire to replace Davidson, who opened the company’s Washington operation six years ago as a one-man shop in shared rental space. Will the company tap a Republican as it seeks to shed its reputation as a liberal stalwart? A big-name former lawmaker or administration official with Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi on speed dial? A tech policy wonk? Or, perhaps, all of the above? Google’s new D.C. chief will have on his or her plate the largest challenge to date for the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant: a broad, ongoing federal antitrust probe at the Federal Trade Commission. The company is also confronting major policy challenges on the privacy and intellectual property fronts. Some tech industry officials said by hiring a team of political veterans, Davidson has already done much of the heavy lifting to make Google a force in Washington.
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