Google de­luded, says ex-boss

Sunday Tasmanian - - NEWS - KATHER­INE RUSHTON

A FORMER Google boss has launched a with­er­ing at­tack on the com­pany, call­ing it de­luded.

Jes­sica Pow­ell said she had be­come tired of de­fend­ing the search en­gine com­pany in her role as its PR chief.

“This is an in­dus­try that takes it­self far too se­ri­ously, and its own re­spon­si­bil­ity not se­ri­ously enough,” she said.

“I want Sil­i­con Val­ley to end the self-delu­sion and ei­ther fess up to the re­al­ity we are cre­at­ing, or live up to the vi­sion we mar­ket to the world each day,” Ms Pow­ell said.

“Be­cause if you’re go­ing to tell peo­ple you’re their saviour, you bet­ter be ready to be held to a higher stan­dard.”

Ms Pow­ell, 40, launched her sear­ing crit­i­cism in an es­say on web­site Medium and a satir­i­cal novel, The Big Dis­rup­tion, both pub­lished last week.

Her de­ci­sion to quit last Au- gust sur­prised many in the in­dus­try. She says she needed “a break from the is­sues that I got tired of de­fend­ing at par­ties”.

She said: “We go about say­ing that we’re build­ing th­ese amaz­ing things and do­ing great things for the world but we’re also caus­ing a lot of se­ri­ous prob­lems.

“It’s very easy to for­get that that’s elec­toral in­ter­fer­ence, that’s live-streamed sui­cides, that’s Myan­mar. It’s re­ally hor­rific stuff.’’

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