Amit Singhal, Google’s SVP for search and an incredibly powerful figure within the company, is retiring at the end of this month.
John Giannandrea, the engineering VP who leads Google’s sprawling research and artificial intelligence efforts, is taking his place. And with the transition, Google is merging the research efforts with search, an indication of the priority of machine learning inside the company. The division now has the keys to the most critical part of the entire Alphabet.
Singhal is a very early Googler and a giant force inside the company. He was named “Google Fellow” in
2001 2006 for his engineering work on the early search engine. In recent years, he has led the aggressive push for Google to improve its search results on mobile.
He posted a retirement message on Google Plus:
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.
Singhal spoke at our recent Code/Mobile conference. You can watch the full interview below.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.