Chetan Krishnaswamy, Google’s director for public policy for India and South Asia, is leaving the company to join Amazon, accorded to a source familiar with the development. Krishnaswamy has been with Google since 2013, when he joined as India head for public policy. He was elevated to director of public policy for Google India and South Asia in November 2016. Krishnaswamy will be joining Amazon as VP for public policy, further details on when he will depart Google are unclear.
Prior to Google, Krishnaswamy served as director of corporate affairs at Dell India from 2008-13, and served as head of public affairs (policy & programs) and as technical assistant to the Intel India president from 2003-08.
Although it’s unclear which regions Krishnaswamy will serve at Amazon, the company has faced stiff regulatory pushback in India over the past few years. It faces a potential antitrust probe by the Competition Commission of India — although the company has stalled it for now — along with pushback from the government on FDI and e-commerce. During his recent visit to India, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos pledged to invest a billion dollars in India. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal snubbed Bezos — declaring that Amazon was not doing India any favours.
While Krishnaswamy was with Google, major developments have taken place in India’s technology policy domain, such as the proposed amendment of India’s safe harbour rules, the setting up of the Justice Srikrishna Committee to draft India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, which placed a massive burden on foreign companies to mandatorily store data generated in India locally. The bill’s second iteration — released in December last year — arguably relaxed the localisation mandate, but poses other challenges for technology giants, such as the government demanding non-personal data from companies.