Google CEO Sundar Pichai Faces Bipartisan Criticism After Refusing to Testify Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc., speaks during a Google product launch event in San Francisco, California, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg)
Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc., speaks during a Google product launch event in San Francisco, California, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg)

Google’s Sundar Pichai is facing bipartisan criticism for refusing to testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing next week, but the panel’s chairman signaled he’s unlikely to issue a subpoena to force the chief executive officer to appear.

“I don’t normally subpoena people to be part of the solution,” Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina said Tuesday when asked if he’s considering such a step. “Google chooses not to participate and being part of the solution. That’s a decision they made.”

Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are said to be planning to testify at the Sept. 5 Senate committee hearing on social media and Russian meddling.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google previously announced it would send Kent Walker, its senior vice president for global affairs. The company said Tuesday that Walker, who’s overseeing its efforts to tackle foreign interference, will be in Washington and available to meet with lawmakers on the day of the hearing.

But Burr — who had asked Pichai to testify — had said Thursday, Aug. 23, that Walker wasn’t sufficiently high up in the company, according to a panel spokeswoman. The senator said it’s up to Google whether to send someone acceptable to appear before the committee, which is investigating Russian interference in U.S. elections and its manipulation of social media.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Steven T. Dennis
Bloomberg Quint