Google Ads boss Jerry Dischler steps down

The executive in charge of Google Ads, Jerry Dischler, stepped down after more than 15 years with Google.

Google wouldn’t say whether Dischler will stay with the company, only that he would take on a “new challenge.” Google confirmed to Search Engine Land that the decision was not related to the recent federal antitrust trial.

Meet the new boss. Vidhya Srinivasan, who previously led product and engineering for ads, will take over leadership of the Ads team. She reports to Google Senior Vice President, Prabhakar Raghavan.

Srinivasan, who joined Google from Amazon four years ago, has overseen technical teams across the ads product portfolio. This includes roles related to search and shopping ads, Google Analytics, ads measurement tools, and AI-powered campaign experiences. During her tenure, she led the launch of Performance Max and Demand Gen, the overhaul of Google Analytics, and the implementation of pixel-less measurement for YouTube advertising.

Recently, she has been at the forefront of Google’s efforts to monetize new generative AI experiences in Search (SGE) and has been instrumental in developing tools for advertisers to utilize generative AI capabilities for campaign and asset creation. Beyond her technical contributions, Srinivasan sponsors Google’s Women in Ads Community.

Stepping up. Shashi Thakur, who has worked for Google for 17 years, will take on Srinivasan’s position and report directly to her. Shashi contributed significantly to the development of core Google products such as Search, Discover, and Shopping. His extensive tenure includes recent work on long-term strategy within Prabhakar’s Knowledge and Information organization.

Over 13 years focused on Google Search, Shashi was involved in evolving the search experience, particularly on mobile devices. He also led engineering and product teams that introduced the Google Knowledge Graph to enhance the Search experience.

Shashi also served as the General Manager for Consumer Shopping, overseeing the development of the shopping experience on Search. In this role, he emphasized creating more inspirational experiences through conversational AI and AR/3D technology.

Dischler’s leadership. During his time in Ads, Dischler played a crucial role in shaping the future of advertising for Google and the industry overall. He contributed to Google’s transition from desktop to mobile, established a leading stance on user privacy, and pioneered advanced advertising technologies, including early applications of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) at scale.

Antitrust trial comments. During the federal antitrust trial, Dischler testified that Google changes the auctions it uses to sell search ads, increasing the cost of ads and reserve pricing by as much as 5% for the average advertiser. He claimed that for some queries, the tech giant may have even raised prices by as much as 10%. He added that for some queries, the tech giant may have even raised prices by as much as 10% – but Google tends “not to tell advertisers about pricing changes.”

Following Dischler’s comments, a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land:

  • “Search ads costs are the result of a real-time auction where advertisers never pay more than their maximum bid. We’re constantly launching improvements designed to make ads better for both advertisers and users.”
  • “Our quality improvements help eliminate irrelevant ads, improve relevance, drive greater advertiser value, and deliver high quality user experiences.”

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Deep dive. Read our blog on the federal antitrust trial for more information on Dischler’s testimony.

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