OpenAI Hires Former Google Veteran for Search Engine Project

OpenAI Hires Former Google Veteran for Search Engine Project

Stefano Rossi
2 min read

OpenAI Hires Former Google Veteran to Lead Search Engine Development

In a recent move, OpenAI has recruited Shivakumar Venkataraman, a former Google veteran with 21 years of experience, to serve as the company's vice president. Venkataraman, who previously helmed Google's search advertisements business, officially joined OpenAI earlier this month, as indicated by his LinkedIn profile. This strategic hire aligns with OpenAI's reported efforts to create a search engine that will directly compete with Google's flagship product, a revelation first disclosed by The Information in February.

Key Takeaways

  • OpenAI secures the services of former Google executive Shivakumar Venkataraman as a Vice President.
  • Venkataraman led Google's search ads division for 21 years.
  • His appointment coincides with OpenAI's pursuit of a search engine to challenge Google's core offering.
  • Venkataraman's transition to OpenAI was documented on his LinkedIn profile in May.
  • The development of OpenAI's search engine was initially highlighted by The Information earlier in the year.


The addition of Shivakumar Venkataraman, an accomplished figure from Google with expertise in search advertisements, signifies OpenAI's bold ambition to directly challenge the dominance of Google's core product. This decision is poised to have an impact on both Google's supremacy in the search engine arena and its advertising revenue. Moreover, it underscores the intensifying competition in the realm of AI-driven search engines. Potential outcomes encompass an escalation in AI innovation, shifts in online advertising strategies, and potential workforce changes within the tech industry. In the long run, a more diversified search engine market could emerge, with OpenAI emerging as a prominent participant. This development also underscores the increasing significance of AI talent, potentially leading to a talent migration from traditional tech enterprises to AI-focused startups.

Did You Know?

  • OpenAI: A research organization dedicated to advancing friendly artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity. Known for creating various AI models, including the renowned ChatGPT.
  • Shivakumar Venkataraman: A seasoned tech industry veteran with 21 years of experience, notably at Google, where he led the search ads business. His expertise is expected to be invaluable to OpenAI as they venture into developing a search engine to rival Google's primary offering.
  • Search ads: An advertising format that appears on search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for specific keywords or phrases. Advertisers bid on these keywords to showcase their ads at the top of search results, only paying when users click on their ads. This advertising method plays a significant role in the revenue generation for search engines, such as Google, and is known for its effectiveness in targeted advertising.

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