Debbie Weinstein on Google UK and the future of British tech

On my return to the UK after six years working from Google’s Bay Area headquarters, I’m immediately reminded of how centuries of longstanding tradition — from street names to architecture — blend seamlessly with the modernity for which Britain is also known.

This country is a thriving home for the creative and advertising industries, a global centre of academic excellence and a financial powerhouse renowned for its long history of innovation. That’s why I’m so excited to be back in the birthplace of the inventor of the World Wide Web, leading Google UK as we work with businesses, consumers and the government to help everyone use technology to achieve their ambitions.

While I’ve just completed my first week at the helm of Google’s operations in the UK and Ireland, this is, in many ways, a homecoming. I’ve called London “home” for much of my life – beginning as a child in the 1980s, long before anyone even had dial-up internet, when it was the Sony Walkman that enabled music to go “mobile.” I’m also proud to have worked at Google for almost a decade. I joined the company in 2014, just after Deepmind came into the Google family – an important milestone in our pivot to becoming an AI-first organisation.

In that time, I’ve seen first-hand the power of Google and technology to improve people’s lives and build businesses that contribute to economies around the world. In 2020, DeepMind’s breakthrough discovery with AlphaFold meant we could accurately predict 3D models of protein structures for the first time – accelerating research in nearly every field of biology. That same year, Google’s search and advertising tools helped support an estimated £55 billion in economic activity for over 700,000 businesses in the UK, £17 billion of that was from businesses that had never sold online before.

Here in the UK, our locally-based engineering, marketing and sales teams work in partnership with colleagues in the U.S. and across the globe to develop helpful products – including Search, Pixel devices and Google Business Profile that are used the world over. I’m looking forward to working with these teams as they explore technology’s new frontiers and create products and services that improve people’s lives.

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