Google's Top Lobbyist in Washington Is Stepping Down

(Bloomberg) -- Google’s top lobbyist in Washington, former U.S. Representative Susan Molinari, is stepping down, just as the company battles accusations from President Donald Trump and top Republicans that it’s biased against them.

Molinari, who served as a Republican House member from New York in the 1990s, joined Google almost seven years ago to lead lobbying in Washington. In January, Molinari will transition to an advisory role. The company is looking for a new head of Americas Policy, Google said in a statement.

During Molinari’s tenure, Google became one of the biggest spenders on influence in the capital as it fought for, and then defended, net neutrality rules, expanded its government contracts and pushed back on attacks from the left and right that it has grown too powerful.

In the last few months, Google has come under harsher scrutiny for a variety of issues. Conservatives accuse Google, without proof, of suppressing them in search results. Progressive activists say Google parent Alphabet Inc. has grown too big and needs to be broken up.

Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai is slated to testify in front of Congress before the end of year, where he’s likely to face questions about the company’s withdrawal from a contract with the Defense Department even as the company has considered building a censored search engine for China.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.