Google ad chief Sridhar Ramaswamy to depart for Greylock Partners

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Sridhar Ramaswamy, one of Google's top ad executives, is departing the company after a 15 year run to join VC outfit Greylock Partners. The senior VP of advertising and commerce is being replaced by Prabhakar Raghavan, VP of engineering at Google, the company said.

Ramaswamy will "initially focus on working with and investing in companies that leverage data at scale, AI and machine learning and analytics to deliver the next generation of insights and capabilities for consumers or enterprises," Greylock said in a blog post on Medium.

At Google, Ramaswamy was responsible for serving digital ads to users in areas such as programmatic, video, shopping and search. The Google veteran also spearheaded a number of critical moments in the company's history.

Back when he took over Google's ad business in 2013, the company generated some $51 billion in advertising revenue; it is now on pace to surpass $100 billion. Key moments during his tenure included transitioning Google's search and advertising business from desktop to mobile. The 51-year-old also grew the company's product listing ads into one of its fastest growing segments and spearheaded efforts to make search ads work on smaller mobile screens; much of this was done by reconfiguring where and how the ads were placed.

Beyond this, Ramaswamy also helped guide Google through several self-regulatory efforts such as the Coalition for Better Ads and the E.U.'s Global Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

Raghavan, meanwhile, comes from a background in algorithms and search. The seven year Google veteran also co-authored the books "Randomized Algorithms" and "Information Retrieval."

In 2014, he moved to oversee Google's suite of cloud-based business apps, including Drive, Docs and Hangouts.

Under Raghavan, Apps grew from a set of consumer programs to an enterprise service called G Suite with more than 4 million paying customers, now a major contributor to Google's cloud business. He helped introduce AI-powered features, such as Smart Reply, which automatically provides relevant responses to emails, and Smart Compose, which suggests whole sentences for users while they write messages in Gmail. More than 10 percent of English Gmail replies are machine-written and accepted by human recipients now, according to Raghavan, who co-authored some of the patents.

"I've worked with Prabhakar over many years now and can think of no better person to lead our monetization efforts," Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, said in a statement. "Prabhakar has incredible management experience, and the deep technical expertise to match."

– With reporting from Bloomberg

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