Google’s head of search and AI steps down

John Giannandrea, the head of Google’s cornerstone web-search unit, is stepping down from his role.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google merged its search and artificial intelligence divisions in February 2016, placing the veteran computer scientist at the helm. Now that he’s moving aside, Google is splitting up the two groups again, the company said Monday. The internet giant is widely considered the technical leader in both fields, but is facing new threats from rivals like Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. with the advent of voice-based search devices.

To run search, Google tapped Ben Gomes, a company veteran and the architect of a series of overhauls this past year to stem misinformation on its platforms. Jeff Dean, a co-founder of the Google Brain research lab, will lead the critical AI division.

Technology-news website The Information reported the management changes earlier. Giannandrea is staying on at Google in a different role. A Google spokeswoman confirmed the moves but declined to comment further.

Now read: Google’s plan to overhaul the mobile industry

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Google’s head of search and AI steps down