Amit Singhal
Amit Singhal (left) and Matt Cutts (2011)
BornSeptember 1968 (age 55)
Alma materCornell University (PhD, 1996)
University of Minnesota Duluth (MS, 1991)
IIT Roorkee (BS, 1989)
AwardsMember of NAE
ACM Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsInformation retrieval
ThesisTerm weighting revisited (1997)
Doctoral advisorClaire Cardie[1][2]
Gerard Salton[3]

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]


Born in Jhansi, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India,[7] Singhal received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science from IIT Roorkee in 1989.[8] He continued his computer science education in the United States, and received an M.S. degree from University of Minnesota Duluth in 1991.[9] 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.[9]

— Amit Singhal

Singhal continued his studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and received a Ph.D. degree in 1996.[9] 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." 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.[9]


He left Google on 26 February 2016, following sexual-harassment allegations.[10][11][12][13]

He later joined Uber as Senior Vice President of software engineering in 2017 but was asked to resign for failing to disclose the reason for his resignation from Google.[14][15][16] It was later revealed that Google paid him $35 Million as his exit package.[17][18]


In 2000, he was recruited by friend Krishna Bharat to join Google.[9] 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.[19] As a reward for his rewrite of the search engine in 2001, Singhal was named a "Google Fellow".[20] Singhal served as the head of Google's core search ranking team[5][6] until his retirement announced on 26 February 2016.[11]

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.[21]

Honors and awards

In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[22][23] Fortune named Singhal one of the smartest people in tech.[24] In 2011, Singhal was given the Outstanding Achievement in Science and Technology Award at The Asian Awards.[25] He was elected member of the National Academy of Engineering.


  1. ^ "Alumni by Year". Cornell University. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Abstract/Details". ProQuest. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  3. ^ "acknowledgements in doctoral thesis of Amit Singhal". Cornell University. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Amit Singhal's journey from Jhansi to Google". CNN-IBN. 4 February 2016.
  5. ^ a b Bloomberg Businessweek's interview with Amit Singhal Archived 17 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b 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. ^ Amitabh Kumar Singhal (1997). Term Weighting Revisited (PhD). Cornell University. hdl:1813/7281.
  8. ^ "University of Minnesota's page with Amit Singhal biography". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d e "University of Minnesota's newsletter. Alumni spotlight – Amit Singhal" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Google paid $35 million to Indian-origin executive Amit Singhal who quit over harassment charges". Financial Express.
  11. ^ a b Hardy, Quentin (3 February 2016). "Amit Singhal, an Influential Engineer at Google, Will Retire". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  12. ^ Liao, Shannon (11 March 2019). "Google confirms it agreed to pay $135 million to two execs accused of sexual harassment". The Verge. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Google paid $35 million to former executive accused of sexual harassment". CBS News. CBS News. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Etherington, Darrell (20 January 2017). "Uber hires former Google search chief Amit Singhal as SVP of Engineering". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Uber hires Google search veteran Singhal for senior engineering post". Reuters. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Google paid former executive $35m after sexual assault allegation". The Guardian.
  18. ^ Griswold, Alison (27 February 2017). "Uber fired a top engineer for covering up allegations of sexual harassment". Quartz. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  19. ^ Hansell, Saul (3 June 2007). "Google Keeps Tweaking Its Search Engine (Published 2007)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 June 2023.
  20. ^ Wired Magazine: Exclusive: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web
  21. ^ Etherington, Darrell (20 January 2017). "Uber hires former YouTube exec Kevin Thompson as VP of Marketplace Engineering". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  22. ^ "About ACM Fellows".
  23. ^ India Abroad: Top 50 Most Influential Indian Americans - Amit Singhal
  24. ^ The smartest people in tech - Amit Singhal Archived 12 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Home Secretary celebrates Asian Achievement