Online transportation network company Uber has hired former Google search chief Amit Singhal as the Senior Vice-President (SVP) of Engineering. Singhal who has an accomplished history in Silicon Valley will be looking after the Maps and Marketplace departments at Uber, and will also act as an advisor to CEO Travis Kalanick and VP of Engineering and Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski, in an effort to build Uber’s self-driving technology.
Earlier in a farewell letter to Google, Singhal wrote that he was leaving to “see what kind of impact [he could] make philanthropically,” and to “spend more time with [his] family,” in an effort to “define [his] next fifteen years.” Singhal makes a comeback as an executive in a much younger company compared to Google and will cast his influence on one of the widely rising firms in the world.
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In an interview to Tech Crunch, Amit Singhal told, “I was indeed leaving Google to spend more times on things that I wanted to do, giving back, to my family, and with the foundation that my wife and I had set up many years prior, but that we were unable to do many things with that we’d hoped to do.”
Singhal met Uber CEO Travis Kalanick through a mutual friend, that started conversations between them on Uber’s growth, its goals and technical challenges. The combination of the scope of both Uber’s potential impact and the extent of the engineering hurdles it faces in achieving its aims were what drew Singhal in.
Uber possesses a world-changing potential which is combined with challenges it faces in realising that potential, that hooked Singhal just as it has hooked many other Silicon Valley investors, leading academics and other skilled engineers.
Singhal’s role at Google was instrumental in helping create Google as world’s leading ‘search engine’ through various advancements in building contextual awareness, query recognition and ensuring the quality and order of returned results. Though, Singhal said, his work will be non-influential to everyday Uber users.