Ben Gomes To Take Over Search At Google, Giannandrea Steps Down

Apr 3, 2018 • 7:25 am | comments (17) by | Filed Under Google News & Finances

Ben Gomes

News broke last night that Google's current head of search, John Giannandrea, was stepping down and replacing him are two Google veterans Jeff Dean will lead Google's AI efforts, and Ben Gomes will become VP of search.

John Giannandrea replaced Amit Singhal who stepped down in 2016. Amit rewrote the Google ranking algorithms back in the day, John was an AI guy who was suppose to drive AI into Google's most important core product - search.

You really never heard from John Giannandrea, although, Google did constantly talk about AI but rarely did you hear from John Giannandrea.

Ben Gomes is a legend, he has been with Google since 1999, one of the early Google employees, one of the cool kids and sat towards the front of the table during the quality meetings, near Amit and Matt Cutts:

Cutts, Gomes & Lars

Gomes ran core search at Google for years and now he is running all of search at Google. Which takes out the "new guy" from the lead and puts back an "old guy" in that role. Someone likely more of Amit's flavor and style as opposed to the machine learning side of things.

I don't have insider information but I got a feeling that search and AI didn't go too well together or maybe the core team around search and John Giannandrea didn't. But that is just my gut feeling. It is probably more that John Giannandrea wanted to stick with AI research and not lead up things around search.

Ben Gomes is a true leader, he loves search, is able to explain it to novices and has the history, brains and compassion to take it to the next level.

While I was not excited when John Giannandrea took over, I am incredibly excited to see what Ben Gomes does with him in charge. Although, for some reason, I feel he has been running things with Panda Nayak, Paul Haahr and others already.

Congrats Ben!

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Looks like John Giannandrea is going to Apple - this is very big news.

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