Google’s Senior Vice President of Search, Amit Singhal, who has been instrumental in shaping Google Search across desktop, mobile and other search appliances, has announced today that he is leaving the company after 15 years of service.
His last day will be February 26, 2016, and his next journey will involve philanthropy. “I am eager to see what kind of impact I can make philanthropically,” he said, “and of course, to spend more time with my family — especially with my wife who I miss spending time with given our incredibly busy lives, and our son who will go to college soon, leaving an empty nest behind.”
Amit said “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.” John Giannandrea, who has led lots of artificial intelligence efforts such as RankBrain, will be stepping into Singhal’s role. Giannandrea has been with Google for six years and is the vice president of engineering at Google.
Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land’s founder, recently interviewed Amit around mobile-first topics.
Back in July 2014, Google’s head of search quality, Matt Cutts, went on leave from the company and remains in that status today.
Here is a copy of what Singhal wrote on Google+:
The Journey Continues…
My life has been a dream journey. From a little boy growing up in the Himalayas dreaming of the Star Trek computer, to an immigrant who came to the United States with two suitcases and not much else, to the person responsible for Search at Google, every turn has enriched me and made me a better person.
As I entered the fifteenth year of working at Google, I’ve been asking myself the question, “what would you want to do for the next fifteen?” The answer has overwhelmingly been: give back to others. It has always been a priority for me to give back to people who are less fortunate, and make time for my family amidst competing work constraints — but on both fronts, I simply want to give and do more.
Now is a good time to make this important life change. Things are in amazing shape. 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.
It fills me with pride to see what we have built in the last fifteen years. Search has transformed people’s lives; over a billion people rely on us. Our mission of empowering people with information and the impact it has had on this world cannot be overstated. When I started, who would have imagined that in a short period of fifteen years, we would tap a button, ask Google anything and get the answer. Today, it has become second nature to us. My dream Star Trek computer is becoming a reality, and it is far better than what I ever imagined.
I love Google. It is a company that believes in doing the right thing, a company that believes in doing good in the world, a company… that cares. I look back at my time here with a profound sense of gratitude that I was a part of building this. Now, with pride, gratitude, and joy in my heart, I need to define my next fifteen years. I am eager to see what kind of impact I can make philanthropically, and of course, to spend more time with my family — especially with my wife who I miss spending time with given our incredibly busy lives, and our son who will go to college soon, leaving an empty nest behind.
Feb 26 will be my last day at Google. My relationships are the most important thing I’ve accumulated in life and I’d love for that to continue. Please do drop me a line occasionally and we can have a cup of tea.
As Chief Si’ahl said “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!” I am taking so many fond memories with me, and hopefully I’ve left a small footprint here.
See also our related story on Marketing Land: What’s Next, As Google’s Head Of Search Leaves & Its Machine Learning Chief Takes Over?