Matt Cutts, who to many webmasters and online marketers, was basically the face of Google Search for many years, stepped away in 2014. Now, Amit Singhal, who has led the company’s search efforts, is moving on.
Singhal announced the news in a letter on Google+ today, saying that after fifteen years with the company, he wants to spend more time with his family and get more involved with philanthropy.
According to him, Google Search remains in good hands – those of “an outstanding set of senior leaders who are already running the show day-to-day.”
Things are certainly changing a lot with the company’s management these days. As you know, last year, Google got a new CEO and became part of Alphabet (which posted impressive earnings earlier this week).
Singhal is reportedly being replaced by research and machine learning exec John Giannandrea, who worked on Knowledge Graph.
Singhal’s full letter, titled “The Journey Continues…” is below:
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.
Image via Twitter