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How leading Google One is like solving a puzzle

When office life became video call life in 2020, people around the world experienced the drain of remote meetings. Larissa Fontaine might be the one exception. “Video calls can be hard because you’re just moving from one thing to the next…but I also get a lot of energy from them,” she says with a smile.…

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When office life became video call life in 2020, people around the world experienced the drain of remote meetings. Larissa Fontaine might be the one exception. “Video calls can be hard because you’re just moving from one thing to the next…but I also get a lot of energy from them,” she says with a smile. “I realized I actually like jumping from topic to topic.” Holding up her notebook, she admits one caveat: “But I have to write things down! Otherwise I won’t retain it all.” 

By “it all,” Larissa means the many product teams she meets with every day. Larissa is the vice president of Google One, a subscription service that includes cloud storage and extra benefits to give users peace of mind, such as automatic phone backup, enhanced security features, family sharing…the list goes on. This role requires her to act as something of a puzzle master, making sure everything works together just right, so that different departments, partners and ultimately — most importantly — customers get what they need. Luckily, she’s up to the task. “I enjoy problem-solving,” she says. “I find it really invigorating.”

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in tech?

I say I work on Google One, which is a subscription that gives you more storage and premium features across different Google products — basically, a membership to help you get more out of Google. I work with Googlers across different areas like engineering, marketing and design to figure out how to make Google One even more valuable for our members. 

What are the most challenging and most rewarding parts of your job?

They’re the same thing: partnering with so many different teams and products across the entire company. It can be complicated trying to solve for the needs of that many product areas. At the same time, when teams come together and find a great solution, it’s exciting. I am always impressed with the creativity and collaboration required to make amazing experiences for users that also work really well for different products and our partners.

Did you always want to work in tech?

I took a mechanical engineering class in college, and it was sort of like “MacGyver,” where you have things like foam core and string and tape and you have to figure out how to precisely move an object across the room without picking it up. I loved figuring out ways to solve these crazy problems, I loved being part of a team, and I loved being super hands-on building things. I ended up majoring in mechanical engineering and then also getting my master’s degree in mechanical engineering. 

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A milestone for King’s Cross: a local innovation hub

Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our…

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Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our most ambitious developments to date.

Today, together with local MP, Keir Starmer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould, and our building partners, we celebrated a major milestone in the construction of our new King’s Cross office – and in our long-standing commitment to the UK – as we placed the final beam on our new development.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party and MP for Holborn and St Pancras said:

“It’s fantastic to attend not only as the leader of the Labour Party and local MP but as a proud local resident of more than 25 years. Congratulations to Google on your magnificent new building, and for all it represents – a seizing of opportunity, harnessing of talent, the creation of good, sustainable jobs and an immense contribution to our community. You’re showing what can be achieved when forward looking local government partners with the ingenuity of the private sector.”

We have long believed that creativity is spurred by environments that promote connection and wellbeing. This is more important than ever as we adapt to a future of flexible, hybrid working. Our new King’s Cross building will be equipped with new workplace technologies to help global and remote teams collaborate more effectively, build relationships, learn from colleagues and dream up new ways to solve complex challenges.

It will also be a place for community and connection thanks to the ground floor retail and community spaces, which are being curated with — and for — the local community. In the coming weeks, in partnership with more than 30 youth organisations in Camden, we’re excited to open our doors to 500 local young people for a week of taster sessions to inspire school students and job seekers with careers in technology, as well as more than 100 local work experience students.

Innovation extends to the design of the building itself, which is playing an important role in helping us to achieve our goal of going carbon free by 2030. We’re pioneering new technologies that will make our King’s Cross office our most ambitious smart building to date, including a system of 13,500 interconnected devices that will work together to improve energy efficiency in real time.

While the doors of our new King’s Cross development won’t open until 2024, incredible work is already underway nearby. The neighbourhood is home to thousands of our engineers working on products like Android, Wear OS, Search and Google Business Profiles, which are used the world over. In fact, many of the team behind some of our newest products – to be released later this year – are based right here in King’s Cross. We look forward to growing these teams and being a part of the local community’s future growth and development.

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Protecting people’s privacy on health topics

Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy…

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Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.

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Google and U.S. developers find agreement over Google Play store

Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play. Source

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Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play.

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