James Manyika is Google’s first head of tech and society.
“I’m thrilled that James Manyika will be joining Google’s leadership team,” Pichai said in a statement provided to Protocol. “He’s spent decades working at the intersection of technology and society and has advised a number of businesses, academic institutions and governments along the way.”
Leaders for the intersection of tech and society aren’t particularly common at large tech companies. There are philanthropic roles, such as Microsoft’s global head of Tech for Social Impact or Twitter’s head of Social Impact and Public Policy, but this position appears to be more broadly an examination of the impact of tech on people’s daily lives. Manyika’s work at McKinsey lines up with the new role; the McKinsey Global Institute works to understand the global economy through the economic impact of tech, productivity, labor markets and other topics.
A Google spokesperson said Manyika’s role works on “shaping and sharing” the company’s view on the way tech affects society, the economy and the planet. His areas of focus include the future of work, sustainability and the impact of AI.