Amit Singhal

Amitabh Kumar "Amit" Singhal (born September 1968) is a former senior vice president at Google Inc. having been a Google Fellow and the head of Google's Search team for 15 years.[5][6] He left Google on 26 February 2016.[7]

Amit Singhal
BornSeptember 1968 (age 51)
Alma materCornell University (PhD,1996)
University of Minnesota (MS,1991)
IIT Roorkee (BS,1989)
AwardsMember of NAE
ACM Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsInformation retrieval
ThesisTerm weighting revisited (1997)
Doctoral advisorClaire Cardie[2][3]
Gerard Salton [4]

He joined Uber as Senior Vice President of software engineering in 2017 but was asked to resign for failing to disclose a sexual harassment allegation during his time at Google.[8][9][10]


Born in Jhansi, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India,[11] Singhal received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science from IIT Roorkee in 1989.[12] He continued his computer science education in the United States, and received an M.S. degree from University of Minnesota Duluth in 1991.[13] He wrote about his time at the University of Minnesota Duluth:

UMD was the turning point in my life. Studying Information Retrieval with Don Crouch and then Don recommending that I move to Cornell to study with Gerard Salton, is the main reason behind my success today. Don gave me the love for search, I have just followed my passion ever since.[13]

Amit Singhal

Singhal continued his studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and received a Ph.D. degree in 1996.[13] At Cornell, Singhal studied with Gerard Salton, a pioneer in the field of information retrieval, the academic discipline which forms the foundation of modern search. John Battelle, in his book "The Search" calls Gerard Salton "the father of digital search." He got interested in the problem of search in 1990 at the University of Minnesota Duluth. After getting a Ph.D. in 1996, Singhal joined AT&T Labs (previously a part of Bell Labs), where he continued his research in information retrieval, speech retrieval and other related fields.[13]


In 2000, he was recruited by friend Krishna Bharat to join Google.[13] Singhal ran Google's core search quality department where he and his team were responsible for the Google search algorithms. According to The New York Times, Singhal was the "master" of Google's ranking algorithm — the formulas that decide which Web pages best answer each user's question.[14] As a reward for his rewrite of the search engine in 2001, Singhal was named a "Google Fellow".[15] Singhal served as the head of Google's core search ranking team[5][6] until his retirement announced on 26 February 2016.[7] It would later transpire that Singhal's departure from Google had occurred after a sexual harassment complaint against him, that an internal review had found "credible".[8]

In 2017, he joined Uber as SVP of Engineering, reporting to CEO Travis Kalanick, and with his fellow Google alum Kevin Thompson operating as SVP of marketplace engineering.[16] He was asked to leave in February 2017 after it emerged that he had not disclosed to Uber the sexual harassment complaint against him that had been responsible for him leaving Google.[8] Singhal's departure from Uber came at a time when Uber was receiving criticism and media attention after allegations by former employee Susan Fowler of a dysfunctional culture of sexual harassment at the company.[17]

Honors and awards

In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[18][19]

Fortune named Singhal one of the smartest people in tech.[20]

In 2011, Singhal was given the Outstanding Achievement in Science and Technology Award at The Asian Awards.[21]

He was elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering.


  1. "Amit Singhal's journey from Jhansi to Google". CNN-IBN. 4 February 2016.
  2. "Alumni by Year". Cornell University. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  3. "Abstract/Details". ProQuest. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  4. "acknowledgements in doctoral thesis of Amit Singhal". Cornell University. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  5. Bloomberg Businessweek's interview with Amit Singhal Archived 17 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Adams, Tim (19 January 2013). "Google and the future of search: Amit Singhal and the Knowledge Graph". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  7. "Amit Singhal, an Influential Engineer at Google, Will Retire". Cornell University. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  8. Swisher, Kara (27 February 2017). "Uber's SVP of engineering is out after he did not disclose he left Google in a dispute over a sexual harassment allegation". Recode.
  9. Etherington, Darrell. "Uber hires former Google search chief Amit Singhal as SVP of Engineering". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  10. "Uber hires Google search veteran Singhal for senior engineering post". Reuters. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  11. Amitabh Kumar Singhal (1997). Term Weighting Revisited (PhD). Cornell University. hdl:1813/7281.
  12. "University of Minnesota's page with Amit Singhal biography". Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  13. "University of Minnesota's newsletter. Alumni spotlight - Amit Singhal" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  14. New York Times article by Saul Hansell
  15. Wired Magazine: Exclusive: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web
  16. Etherington, Darrell. "Uber hires former YouTube exec Kevin Thompson as VP of Marketplace Engineering". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  17. Griswold, Alison (27 February 2017). "Uber fired a top engineer for covering up allegations of sexual harassment". Quartz. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  19. India Abroad: Top 50 Most Influential Indian Americans - Amit Singhal
  20. The smartest people in tech - Amit Singhal Archived 12 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  21. Home Secretary celebrates Asian Achievement
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