Google is pursuing a massive cloud-computing contract with the Department of Defense, nearly three years after abandoning a similar bid process in the face of employee protests.
The head of the Alphabet Inc.
subsidiary’s cloud division, Thomas Kurian, met this week with Pentagon officials to discuss the bid process for a contract called the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, according to people familiar with the meeting.
The three-year contract will be split across multiple bidders. It replaces the 10-year, $10 billion JEDI cloud-computing contract terminated in July, which was planned to consolidate the Pentagon’s patchwork of data systems to give defense personnel better access to real-time information and artificial-intelligence capabilities.
The Pentagon said the contract was canceled because of its evolving needs. The project was mired in years of squabbling between Microsoft Corp.
which won the bidding, and Amazon.com Inc.
which contended the process was politically motivated under the Trump administration.
Google’s plan to bid will be a major test of Chief Executive Sundar Pichai’s success in taming what has been an outspoken workforce. In 2018, the company came under fire from employee activists over a Pentagon contract to supply imaging tools used by drones. Several outspoken employees quit.
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