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Indian-American ex-Google exec to lead Microsoft’s generative AI efforts

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) An Indian-American tech industry veteran and former Google executive with over 20 years of experience in product development, design, and strategy, has joined Microsoft as its corporate vice president.

Aparna Chennapragada, who stepped down as chief product officer of stock trading app Robinhood, will be leading generative AI efforts in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Designer — a software product that competes with Adobe and Canva.

“With generative AI, there is an opportunity to build products that instantly and easily bring your intent and imagination to life. That’s why I am super excited to share that I am joining Microsoft as Corporate VP leading efforts on AI-first creation experiences,” Chennapragada said in a LinkedIn post.

An IIT Madras graduate, Chennapragada said that throughout her conversations with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the last several months, she has come to “deeply appreciate his vision to empower people and organisations across the world using AI”.

“I’m looking forward to diving in and putting AI to use to unleash our collective creativity!” Chennapragada wrote in the post.

Chennapragada is armed with 12 years of leadership at Google, where she has led product, engineering and design teams, across Google Search, Shopping and AR.

She has also served as Vice President for Consumer Shopping, and the lead for AR and visual search products, and is also a board member of eBay.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Chennapragada has a B.Tech in Computer Science from IIT Madra and is a double Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas, and Management and Engineering from MIT.

The Information, a US-based business publication, reported that the move comes amid an intense rivalry between Google and Microsoft in artificial intelligence.

Before Chennapragada, another Indian-American, Rohini Srivathsa, took over the role of chief technology officer at Microsoft India and South Asia in September.

In August, Puneet Chandok was appointed as Microsoft’s corporate vice president for India and South Asia.

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