As of Feb. 26, 2016, I have retired from Google. It has been an incredible journey, and I am starting the next phase of my journey focused on giving back through the Singhal Foundation. Here is the letter I wrote announcing this change:
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.
- I am honored to be elected as one of the members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). As an engineer and a scientist, I have always looked up to the distinguished members of NAE. Many of them have inspired me throughout my career. It is humbling to join this group of iconic engineers. Read the Google blog-post about this.
- I am also humbled and honored to be elected an ACM Fellow. This award is really close to my heart. As a computer scientist and a search academic, I have always looked up to the people who have been elected ACM fellows. The ACM fellows have dedicated their lives to advancement of computing, including my mentor, my advisor, the late Gerard Salton, who was elected an ACM Fellow in 1995.
- Last year I was also awarded The Asian Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science & Technology. Here is a video clip from that wonderful ceremony. And the organizers got the pictures from the ceremony broadcasted on Times Square.
In the press
- October 2015: A conversation with Kara Swisher at Code/Mobile.
- July 2015: Reinventing Google for a Mobile World by Conor Dougherty
- Jan 2015: The Never Ending Search by Steven Levy
- Apr 2013: Where No Search Engine Has Gone Before.
- Mar 2013: How Search Is Evolving.
- Jan 2013: Google and the future of search.
- Dec 2012: Changing Everything About Search.
- Oct 2012: To boldly search…
- Oct 2012: Google’s ‘quantum leap’ for cleverer search.
- Aug 2012: We are building my dream search engine.
- Jun 2012: Future of search chat with the BBC.
- May 2012: Google Knowledge Graph: things not strings.
- Apr 2012: In GQ India’s list of Digital Indians
- Mar 2012: An chat with Emily Chang on Bloomberg TV.
- Feb 2012: An interview with Lance Ulanoff about Google’s Knowledge Graph.
- Feb 2012: Mark Prigg of the London Evening Standard writes about The human search engine.
- Jan 2012: A chat with Danny Sullivan about Search Plus Your World.
- Feb 2011: Interview on NBC Press Here: Part 1and Part 2.
- Feb 2010: Steven Levy from Wired Magazine has an in-depth piece on Google search: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web
- June 2007: Saul Hansell from the New York Times wrote about Search Quality team at Google. Click here to read it, registration required.