Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Testifies Against Ozy Media Co-founder in Fraud Trial


Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet Inc., appeared as a witness in the fraud trial of Carlos Watson, co-founder of Ozy Media Inc., stating unequivocally that Google had never considered acquiring the startup.

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Carlos Watson faces accusations of deceiving investors by fabricating claims about Ozy’s business achievements, including falsely asserting that Google had made a bid to purchase the company for “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Ozy Media, once a prominent media startup, collapsed following revelations in 2021 that its Chief Operating Officer, Samir Rao, had impersonated a YouTube executive during discussions with Goldman Sachs bankers. Rao, who has pleaded guilty, testified that this deception was part of a larger scheme orchestrated with Watson to mislead investors about Ozy’s financial health.

During his testimony at the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Pichai clarified that while Google had considered investing $25 million in Ozy, discussions of an acquisition were never on the table. Pichai also disclosed that Google had contemplated hiring Watson to oversee its news programming.

Prosecutor Dylan Stern pressed Pichai on whether Google had ever offered $600 million to acquire Ozy Media. Pichai responded with a firm “No.”

Stern alleged in his opening statement that Watson utilized the fictitious Google offer to entice another investor after the initial Goldman Sachs deal fell through.

Contrary to Watson’s claims of a close relationship with Pichai, the Alphabet CEO testified that their interactions were limited to two brief occasions: a short conversation at a conference and a job interview that Watson underwent in February 2021, which did not result in his employment at Google.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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