Amit Singhal, the former longtime SVP of Search at Google, is now headed to ride hailing company Uber as SVP of Engineering (via TechCrunch). Singhal was employee number 176 at Google, and departed the Mountain View company in February of last year with a letter on Google+ suggesting a plan to retire. Now, he finds himself back near the top of a Silicon Valley giant…

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Singhal definitely did “make time for my family” and “give back to others” as he described in his departure letter; he started the Singhal Foundation with his wife, and, in Singhal’s own words, “drove [his] son to school every morning and [picked] him up.” After 6 months of hard work, things were going well for his new foundation, as he described:

The first six months were very intense for me – very intense for me. After that we got into a rhythm of running the foundation, we took 50 children who are going to school, and are growing that to about 400 children next year, and going on to thousands of children in the coming year. What happened in parallel was that i found a great, great partner to run the foundation in India.

But apparently, it wasn’t long before he met Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of Uber, through a mutual friend. It was reportedly the mountains of technical challenges the company faces, which Singhal came to understand through conversations with Kalanick, that drew him in.

“This company is not only doing things that are amazing, this company also has some of the toughest computer science challenges that I have seen in my career of 25 years,” Singhal told TechCrunch in an interview. “Those computer science challenges for a computer science geek are just intriguing – you give a geek a puzzle, they can’t drop it; they need to solve the puzzle. That’s how it felt to me.”

The full story is worth a read.

(Image via Search Engine Land)

Update: A previous version of this article read that Singhal was employee 146 at Google, but he was actually employee 176.