Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the US election was 'challenging' and 'deeply divided'

Sundar PichaiJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai.

LONDON — Google CEO Sundar Pichai described the recent US election as a “challenging democratic process” that was “deeply divided” in a talk at Google’s London office on Tuesday evening.

The comments on the election came after an audience member asked Pichai in a question and answer session what his biggest challenge is.

Pichai said that the election had been an “important moment” for the US, and stressed that it was vital that the country undergoes a “smooth transition” of power and moves beyond the “rhetoric” of the political campaigns.

Pichai spoke in London to announce that Google will begin work on a new UK headquarters in 2018, and it plans to create 3,000 jobs in the UK by 2020.

Google London HQ aerialGoogleAn artist’s impression of Google’s new complete London campus.

Pichai began his talk introducing the office by again mentioning the recent US election, saying that it had highlighted the challenges of inequality and people feeling marginalized. Google couldn’t solve those problems on its own, he said, and it will be a “long and difficult” problem to solve.

One audience member asked Pichai about the threat to internet freedom from oppressive governments. Pichai said that “people want to close off parts of the internet”. He said that “I wish I could run an A/B test on the world to show how the open and connected way [of using the internet] is far better than the other way.”

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