Google CEO Sundar Pichai warns of competition from TikTok and other Chinese companies
Sundar Pichai is the head of one of the world’s most successful companies that dominates the online advertising market, but he says that doesn’t mean he can rest on his laurels.
At the Code Conference Vox Media in Beverly Hills, California, Pichai talked about how to deal with a “hyper-intense” tech market during a time of economic uncertainty. The idea that Google is in trouble can also serve as a useful argument at a time when critics of big tech like Senator Amy Klobuchar are pushing antitrust laws against the company.
“Competition comes out of nowhere,” said Pichai, CEO of Google, as well as its parent company Alphabet, which also owns YouTube. “You know, three years ago, none of us were talking about TikTok.”
TikTok, a short video platform that has become one of the most popular apps in the world, is just one of the challenges Pichai faces in the current market.
Alphabet faced significant decrease in the value of its shares over the past year as the recent economic downturn hit many big tech companies’ ad revenue. In the second quarter of 2022 Alphabet did not live up to income and income calculations second quarter in a row.
“I mean, you are talking about several companies now, and there are very good companies like Trade Desk and so on. So this shows how active this market is. It’s not at all like it was a few years ago,” he said.
That means Google, one of the biggest tech employers and a company known for offering generous perks to its full-time employees, is also tightening its belts.
“I have always been of the opinion that you tend to make mistakes if you focus too much on competition,” Pichai said. “Big companies especially fail because they stumble on the inside.”
In recent months the company initiated a hiring freeze. Pichai also warned his employees that their productivity and concentration needs to be improved.
“We need to be more adventurous, working with more urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we have shown on sunnier days,” Pichai. told Google employees in an internal memo in July.
When asked how Google could be more productive, Pichai said that “with scale, you can make decisions more slowly.”
Kara Swisher joked on stage with Pichai about how a fictional version of Google was portrayed in the hit HBO comedy series. Silicon Valley. “People are just, you know… all on the roof resting and getting dressed,” she said.
“I never looked Silicon ValleyPichai answered. “Too close to home.”