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Google’s search chief Amit Singhal to quit

Amit Singhal

Amit Singhal

Amit Singhal, head of Google’s flagship search business, is leaving the internet giant after 15 years. He will be replaced by the company’s engineering vice president and artificial intelligence (AI) business head John Giannandrea, Google parent Alphabet Inc said in a media statement.

Singhal, an IIT Roorkee alumnus, was instrumental in shaping Google Search across desktop, mobile and other platforms. He joined the technology giant in 2000 and was named Google Fellow in 2006 for his engineering work on the company’s early search engine interface. Singhal has an MS in computer science from University of Minnesota and a PhD from Cornell University. Prior to joining Google, he worked with AT&T Labs.

“February 26 will be my last day at Google…Search is stronger than ever, and will only get better in the hands of an outstanding set of senior leaders who are already running the show day-to-day,” Singhal said in a Google+ post.

The 47-year-old Singhal plans to be involved with philanthropy once he leaves Google.

Giannandrea was the founder of Metaweb Technologies, which was bought by Google in 2010. An alumnus of University of Strathclyde, he worked with General Magic, Netscape Communications, and TellMe Networks prior to founding Metaweb.

Giannandrea’s appointment is a growing indication of Google’s efforts to integrate machine learning with its web search. Recently, Google launched a new tool that uses machine learning technology to generate natural language replies on the fly to emails that need to be answered.

In August, Google, which has evolved from an internet search engine to a diversified tech giant, said it is creating a new holding firm named Alphabet to better focus on myriad businesses that straddle driver-less cars, video streaming, balloon-powered internet access, thermostat and smoke detector and more.

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