Uber’s search for engineering chief yields former Google veteran Amit Singhal

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of engineering, Uber
Amit Singhal, senior vice president of engineering, Uber

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of engineering, Uber

San Francisco-based ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. has hired former Google search chief Amit Singhal as senior vice president of engineering.

Singhal, who hails from Uttar Pradesh in India, wrote in his personal blog post on Friday, “I’m excited to announce that I’m joining Uber as SVP of Engineering…having spent hours with Travis and many others at the company, I can confidently say Uber fits the bill.”

TechCrunch was the first to report the development.

Singhal will head the maps and marketplace departments at Uber, and advise CEO Travis Kalanick and VP of engineering and Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski on the company’s self-driving technology, the report added.

An email sent to an Uber India spokesperson didn’t elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

In his blog post, Singhal said, “In fact as I dug deeper into how Uber works, it became pretty clear that this is one of the hardest—and therefore most fun—computer science and engineering challenges in the world today.”

Prior to Uber, Singhal was Google’s (now Alphabet Inc.) head of search. He left the company in February last year after spending a decade-and-a-half at the tech giant.

A seemingly excited Singhal, who titled his write-up ‘a geek’s candy store’, also tweeted a photo with Kalanick saying “catching the next ride of my professional journey with @travisk at @Uber.”

Singhal is an alumnus of IIT-Roorkee and holds a PhD from Cornell University.

In India, Uber is locked in a fierce battle for market share with home-grown cab-hailing app Ola.

Last year, Uber rapidly increased its headcount in India as it shifted its focus to the South Asian nation after exiting China.

Uber broke convention in June, 2015 when it appointed Amit Jain from Renti.com as president and India head, a first-of-its-kind position in any of its markets.