Alex Heath is a deputy editor for The Verge and the author of Command Line, a weekly newsletter about the tech industry’s inside conversation.
Since joining The Verge in 2021, he has broken agenda-setting scoops like Facebook’s rebrand to Meta. He was a co-host for the sixth season of Land of the Giants, Vox Media’s award-winning podcast series about the most influential tech companies. He was also part of the reporting team behind "Extremely Hardcore," New York Magazine’s cover story about Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter.
Heath has been covering the technology industry for more than a decade in previous roles at The Information, Insider, and other outlets. His work has been cited by Congress and recognized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. He has appeared as an expert voice on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, NPR, among other programs. He is based in Los Angeles.
A fun fact from Reddit’s IPO filing: Sam Altman owns more shares than CEO Steve Huffman! Reddit’s three largest shareholders in order are: Advance Publications (which owns Condé Nast), Tencent, and Altman.
The OpenAI CEO owns 8.7 percent of the stock versus Huffman’s 3.3 percent. He has more than double Huffman’s voting power, too.
While he isn’t a co-founder, Altman has been deeply involved in Reddit since basically the beginning. He quietly stepped off the board in 2022 as OpenAI was rising to prominence and Reddit was gearing up to go public. Now, he owns a big chunk of a company that really wants AI companies to pay for its data. Interesting times!
These are just a few of the names that Google has bestowed upon its AI products in recent weeks.
Is it confusing for those of us on the outside to track all of these name changes? Yes. Yes, it is. And as Business Insider details in this fun story, even Google’s own employees are roasting the company by posting memes about it internally.
From his full interview today with Andrew Ross Sorkin:
“I don’t think most companies engage with employees in the transparent way we do, and I think that creates some of this conversation outside. But I’ve always viewed it as a source of strength for the company and we’ll work through this moment.”
Here are just a couple of employee-submitted questions that CEO Sundar Pichai answered during the company’s all hands last week:
“There seems to be a growing rift between leadership and employees. What is leadership’s perspective/awareness of this? Do you think there is a problem, is there anything being done to push us back to a relationship of mutual trust?”
“Why has there been such an extraordinary effort to limit the internal visibility of layoffs announcements? I’ve learned more about layoffs in my own PA from The Verge than from my own employer.”
ICYMI: There’s much from that meeting, including new tidbits about the company’s AI strategy, in the last issue of Command Line.