amit singhal_mat cutts

Amit Singhal, Google’s head of ranking team, Google Fellow and the person responsible for Google’s search algorithms is leaving the company on 26 February. In a blog post on Google+, Singhal wrote that he will be concentrating on his family and philanthropy after this. He completed 15 years at Google this year.

He said, “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.”

Singhal also added that over 1 billion people relied on Google search and that the company’s mission of ‘empowering people with information and the impact it has had on this world cannot be overstated.’ Interestingly, in 2012, Singhal said that ‘working for Google is like having a 100 computer science research departments at your beck and call’, according to this Business Insider report. “Someone thought of a car that would drive itself. And Google said, ‘Why not?’ We’re just going to go there, and we’ll figure everything else out there in the middle,” he added.

John Giannandrea, VP of engineering VP and head of Google’s research and AI, will take Singhal’s place in the company. According to a Re/code report, Google will be merging research and search efforts.

Readers would like to note that Google’s DeepMind AI, called AlphaGo, recently beat a professional Go (a game where players have to place black or white tiles on a 19×19 board, trying to remove the tiles placed by your opponent) player. Or as my colleague Vivek puts it, the age of robots is upon us.

Financials: Alphabet Inc posted a net profit of $4.92 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 (Q4 2015), a rise of 5% from $4.66 billion in the same quarter last year. The company also reported revenues of $21.33 billion, an increase of 17.82% from $18.10 billion in the same period last year. This quarter, Alphabet also reported revenues from its Other Bets division which includes its fiber business, life sciences and X  business (the company’s moonshot research and development division).

Bonus blast from the past: Google Fellow Amit Singhal on mobile, social, voice and video search

Image Credit: Dustin Woodward under CC BY 2.0