Google's top lobbyist reportedly sent his staff a blank organization chart making employees fear for their jobs

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Karan Bhatia google global policy chiefByun Young-Wook/Getty Images

  • Google's head of public policy Karan Bhatia has reportedly hinted at restructuring the company's Washington, DC, team responsible for lobbying on Capitol Hill.
  • Sources told Bloomberg that Bhatia shared a blank organizational chart that had only his own name filled in at the top.
  • The chart prompted employees to fear for their jobs.
  • Bhatia joined Google in June to head up the company's policy team, and has previously worked for General Electric, and as deputy U.S. trade representative under George W. Bush.

Some employees at Google responsible for lobbying DC lawmakers are fearing for their jobs after a company executive hinted at restructuring their team.

Karan Bhatia, Google's VP of global public policy, is rethinking the roles of employees on the company's policy team in Washington, Bloomberg reports. Bhatia, who was named to the executive position in June, reportedly shared with the policy team an empty organizational chart with only one named filled in - his own at the top. The rest of the spots were blank boxes, according to Bloomberg.

After Bhatia was hired, the company's top lobbyist, former Representative Susan Molinari, resigned last year, effective December 31, although she told Bloomberg she's agreed to stay on as an advisor. She was head of policy for the Americas.

The changes in this DC policy team follow a tumultuous year at the company. For instance, Google vowed to limit the kinds of military contracts its cloud unit would pursue after a huge internal brouhaha. Google's plans to launch a search engine in China with censored results, known as Dragonfly, were cancelled after the project faced backlash from the company's privacy team. In December, Congress questioned Google CEO Sundar Pichai for 3 1/2 hours regarding concerns over privacy and transparency, including allegations of political bias in search results.

Read more: Google in 2018: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Before joining Google in June, Bhatia served as GE's president of government affairs and policy. He also served as the deputy U.S. trade representative under George W. Bush.

Google declined comment.

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