Whereas Google and Pichai’s responses might not have happy everybody, not less than they appear good compared to its Silicon Valley rival.
“Google did higher than Fb this yr,” says Pivotal analyst Brian Weiser. “Lots of the identical points that Fb confronted are points for Google as properly, however the major distinction is that Google is a better-run firm so it simply did not have the identical degree of focus.”
That sentiment hasn’t been misplaced on workers. One employee on the promoting facet advised CNBC that their supervisor jokes that any time it looks as if a difficulty might blow up, Fb does one thing worse.
Pichai’s demeanor has helped.
“I feel he brings emotional intelligence to a Valley that has little or no of it,” says Eric Schiffer, chairman of consulting agency Popularity Administration.
“Staff that I discuss to even have empathy for the place that he is in, which is having to be a coalition-builder between workers and shareholders, whose pursuits do not align in all instances and at occasions have harrowingly completely different priorities.”
Google’s renewed curiosity in China is an instance. Pichai has described it as too massive a market to disregard, however its plans for censored search there counter the corporate’s earlier determination to withdraw from the nation, which was couched in ethical phrases. Threading that needle requires the form of deft contact — tactfulness, if you’ll — that Pichai has made his signature.
Nevertheless, this tactfulness is also seen as wishy-washiness. As one former Google govt summed it up, Pichai is well-balanced chief who likes to seek out compromises. However that may imply that as a substitute of fixing issues rapidly and decisively, he and the remainder of Google’s management are letting them construct and fester.
Whereas Google hasslipped within the rankings of fascinating locations to work, all its missteps and scandals have not triggered a blip in its financials. Powering the Web’s most in depth and important community of promoting platforms pays off: Alphabet earned $9.2 billion in earnings final quarter, up 37 p.c from a yr in the past.
As Google’s strained yr winds down, it looks as if Pichai’s largest challenges for subsequent yr, too, is not going to be making shareholders comfortable, however appeasing customers, regulators, and workers.