Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s svp for ads and commerce, will depart after 15 years at the online behemoth to join venture capital fund Greylock Partners with Prabhakar Raghavan, vp of Google cloud apps, poised to head-up its advertising division.
Greylock announced on Monday that Ramaswamy will join the VC fund as a venture partner where he will focus on helping startups that leverage AI, analytics and data to develop next-generation offerings for advertisers and consumers.
“I have always been drawn to earlier stage entrepreneurial projects and becoming a venture partner at Greylock is an exceptional way to explore these types of opportunities,” he said in a statement.
Ramaswamy spent more than 15 years at Google developing its advertising products and during that time he helped build its search, display, analytics and commerce business from a $1.5 billion per year business in 2003 to one that generated more than $100 billion in 2017.
In particular, he oversaw the development of Google’s programmatic offering with Doubleclick for Publishers, Doubleclick Bid Manager and Google Analytics considered the default tools for both buy- and sell-side companies, and Adweek considered him one of the most indispensable executives in marketing, media and tech in 2016.
Google’s incoming ads chief Raghavan, noted how he intended to follow Ramaswamy’s achievements to help build an environment so that “users, creators, publishers and advertisers are able to thrive in an ecosystem built on transparency, trust and value.”
Raghavan takes over this division at a time when Google commands a 37.1 percent share of U.S. digital ad spend, making it the clear market leader according to eMarketer, Although the analyst firm’s latest forecasts also note the rising challenge of ecommerce giant Amazon, particularly in the search advertising space.
This change in leadership also comes as Google faces dual pressures with increased scrutiny from regulators over its use of personal data to power its advertising business, while at the same time is also facing contrasting calls from media buyers to lift controls on the flow of such audience insights, especially in light of its GDPR-compliance strategies.