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Google restructures virtual assistant team to focus more on Bard

A key leader from the virtual assistant team will be leaving.

Published onMarch 31, 2023

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Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
  • Sissie Hsiao, vice president and lead of Google Assistant’s business unit, announced changes coming to the organization.
  • Google will be reorganizing its virtual assistant unit to focus more on Bard.
  • A key leader from the team is stepping down.

It’s no secret that one of Google’s primary focuses this year is on Bard, its answer to ChatGPT. To further support Bard’s development, the organization is enlisting the help of its virtual assistant unit.

According to CNBC, Sissie Hsiao, vice president and lead of Google Assistant‘s business unit, announced in a memo that the virtual assistant team would be going through some restructuring. The reorganization is a move to have the unit heavily prioritize working on the company’s AI chatbot.

In the memo, Hsiao reveals that Jianchang Mao, vice president of engineering for Google Assistant who reported directly to Hsiao, is leaving the company for personal reasons. He is reportedly being replaced by the former vice president of Google’s commerce organization, Peeyush Ranjan.

In addition to this shake-up, Amar Subramanya, Google Assistant engineering vice president, is now leading the engineering efforts for the Bard team. The memo also stated that the person previously in charge of leading those engineering efforts, Trevor Strohman, will continue as an “Area Tech Lead” for Bard.

This reshuffling and the virtual assistant unit’s increased focus on Bard could suggest that the company has plans for Bard and Google Assistant. Leadership may want to integrate Bard into all of the products Google Assistant appears on, such as Nest smart speakers, Pixel phones, and even Android Auto.

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