Google’s ad business head quits to join venture capital firm

The man with the Midas touch who helped Google’s ad business to climb from $1.5 billion in 2003 to $95 billion in 2013 is leaving the company after 15 years to become a venture capitalist with Greylock Partners.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of advertising and commerce at Google, will be replaced by Prabhakar Raghavan, a vice president of engineering at Google.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he can think of no better person to lead the company’s monetisation efforts than Raghavan with his incredible management experience and deep technical expertise to match.

Raghavan had been recently overseeing Docs, Drive, Gmail, and other productivity apps.

While Google’s ad business accounts for more than 85% of parent company Alphabet’s revenue, it is facing challenges as ads are becoming more costly to serve on some devices and platforms and questions related to privacy are raised on how Google collects data and targets advertisements.

Speaking at a seminar in California, Google and Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said criticism over Google’s data protection is baseless as the company respects its users’ privacy.