Mr. McLaughlin will be deputy chief technology officer, reporting to Aneesh Chopra, the chief technology officer, who was previously Virginia’s secretary of technology, said these people, who agreed to speak only if their names were not used because Mr. McLaughlin’s appointment had not been announced.
Mr. McLaughlin’s move is likely to renew concerns among some Google rivals and public policy groups about Google’s growing clout in Washington.
A Google spokesman confirmed that Mr. McLaughlin was leaving the company. Mr. McLaughlin did not immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment. An e-mail message to the White House press office was not immediately answered.
Mr. McLaughlin joined Google about five years ago and directed the company’s public policy efforts. Previously he was an executive at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit group that helps coordinate the Internet’s address system. He is an emeritus fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and was part of Mr. Obama’s transition team as a member of the Technology, Innovation and Government Reform Policy Working Group.
Mr. McLaughlin is the latest Google executive to take an official role in the Obama administration. Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, has been a close adviser to President Obama’s transition team and is now a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Katie Stanton, a former Google project manager, joined the White House as its director of citizen participation. And Sonal Shah, former head of global development at Google.org, now heads the White House Office of Social Innovation.
Some critics fear that the growing presence of former Google employees in the administration could lead to purchasing and policy decisions that improperly benefit the company at a time when the company’s power is likely to come under increasing scrutiny from regulators. Already the Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether the ties between the boards of Google and Apple amount to a violation of antitrust laws. The Justice Department is inquiring into the antitrust implications of Google’s settlement of a lawsuit with publishers and authors.