May 28, 2024

It’s a new world with the advent of artificial intelligence and its offshoots, and Google is putting the pedal to the metal to try to keep up.

Alphabet-owned Google had a search engine market share of almost 92% as of February, according to data from Oberlo. Its share hasn’t dropped below 90% since 2014, and it has been the top search engine for the better part of two decades.

This might not be enough for the tech giant anymore.

Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president at Google who oversees search, ads, commerce, payments, and other key areas, had a message for the roughly 25,000 full-time employees at Google’s knowledge and information organization: Times are changing.

“I think we can agree that things are not like they were 15 to 20 years ago, things have changed,” Raghavan said in an audio recording of the event obtained by CNBC.

Despite its meteoric rise, with its digital ad business becoming “the envy of the world” and annual revenues shooting up by more than $100 billion in three years, it’s getting harder and harder for the tech giant to keep up with its current pace of growth, according to Raghavan.

“It’s not like life is going to be hunky-dory forever,” he said. “If there’s a clear and present market reality, we need to twitch faster, like the athletes twitch faster.”

To that end, Raghavan told staffers that his reports will have less time to complete some projects as part of a push to pick up the case in key areas. He also said the company is planning to build out teams in growing markets, like India and Brazil.

As the race for generative AI heats up, Google’s Gemini model is in fierce competition with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Anthropic’s Claude, to name just a couple. Raghavan underscored the importance of Google’s reputation amid the changing tech landscape.

“People come to us because we are trusted,” he said. “They may have a new gizmo out there that people like to play with but they still come to Google to verify what they see there because it is the trusted source and it becomes more critical in this era of generative AI.”

Just last week, Google announced that it’s planning to consolidate the teams behind AI models in its Research and DeepMind divisions as part of its efforts to accelerate the build-up of its AI capabilities.

The company has been in a push over the past year to simplify its structure and improve velocity and execution, CEO Sundar Pichai said last week. That has also included reducing its headcount by about 6% in January 2023, nixing about 12,000 jobs.

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