Home Daily Blitz Google Won’t Send Its CEO To Testify, So Senators May Hold A Hearing With An Empty Chair

Google Won’t Send Its CEO To Testify, So Senators May Hold A Hearing With An Empty Chair


The following is an excerpt from Donie O'Sullivan and Jeremy Herb | August 29, 2018 | CNN.com |

Executives from three major tech companies are due to appear before Congress next Wednesday to talk about their role in protecting the integrity of November's midterm elections, but senators are threatening to put an empty chair in Google's place. The potential move is a sign of lawmakers' increasing dissatisfaction with the company.

The Senate Intelligence Committee invited leaders from Facebook, Twitter and Google to a hearing on their role in "protecting elections from misinformation and disinformation." The companies have faced intense scrutiny since it emerged that a Russian government-linked disinformation campaign wreaked havoc on their platforms during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed to attend. The committee also invited Google CEO Sundar Pichai, but the company offered to send Kent Walker, its senior vice president of Global Affairs, in his place.

Senators say Walker isn't senior enough.

"I'm really concerned that for example with our hearing coming up with social media, that Google has not sent an appropriate representative, at least at this point. Because there are enormous problems and challenges around YouTube," the leading Democrat on the committee, Senator Mark Warner, told CNN last week. "I want to see the equivalent of the CEO or COO. ... To me this will be an indication of how important they think this issue is. And if they don't, we have other tools."

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