Google Ads chief Sridhar Ramaswamy leaves to join venture firm

October 2, 2018
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Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google SVP of Ads & Commerce.

That man running Google’s ad business, Sridhar Ramaswamy, is leaving after 15 years to become a venture partner at Greylock Partners, a venture capital firm. Ramaswamy has been at Google for 15 years, most recently as SVP of Advertising and Commerce.

Ramaswamy helped Google’s ad business scale massively. When he joined Google in 2003, advertising revenue was roughly $1.5 billion. Today Google has annual ad revenues approaching $100 billion. Of course, Ramaswamy was not single-handedly responsible for scaling Google advertising but he was instrumental in its growth.

Ramaswamy will be replaced by Prabhakar Raghavan, who was VP of engineering for Google’s Cloud apps. Many news outlets are treating Ramaswamy’s departure as a risk to Google’s ad business.

Raghavan a solid successor. In reality Raghavan is an extremely capable executive, who was previously in charge of Yahoo Labs and worked at IBM Research. He has a strong background in AI and knows search extremely well from a business and technical perspective.

I had multiple contacts with Raghavan while he was at Yahoo and was impressed by his knowledge and perspective on search. Indeed, he was talking expansively and predictively about local search and the impact of digital and search on offline transactions before Google was investing heavily in these areas.

What marketers can expect. In a phrase, “business as usual.”

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