Google South East Asia and India Vice-President Rajan Anandan will leave the company at the end of April, Reuters reported.
Google Asia Pacific President Scott Beaumont said on Tuesday that Vikas Agnihotri, country director, sales, will replace Rajan Anandan in the interim for Google India.
The resignation of the India head assumes significance because Google retains a slight lead over Facebook in the competition for digital ad dollars in the India market, Reuters reported in 2018.
Alphabet Inc’s Google is led by Sundar Pichai, who has made developing markets including India a top priority.
Google officials in India were alarmed to learn that Facebook was likely to generate about $980 million in revenue in the country in 2018. Google’s India revenues reached $1 billion only last year.
Facebook is succeeding in India, which boasts the fastest-growing digital ad market of any major economy. Facebook did not have a country head for the last year, and has faced a series of incidents in which rumors circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp have prompted mob violence.
Facebook and Google between them took 68 percent of India’s digital ad market last year, according to advertising buyer Magna. Media agency GroupM estimates digital advertising spending will grow 30 percent in India this year.
Google’s India workforce has more than doubled since to more than 4,000 employees, or about eight times Facebook’s presence, according to a tally of LinkedIn profiles and company statements.
Alphabet-owned Google reported revenue of $39.28 billion and an operating margin of 21 percent for the fourth quarter of 2018. Google’s advertising revenue grew 20 percent from last year’s fourth quarter, to $32.6 billion, the same rate of growth as last quarter.
Rajan Anandan, also an investor in multiple start-ups, is slated to join venture fund Sequoia Capital.
Rajan Anandan joined Google from Microsoft India in 2010. Previously, he was associated with Dell India and McKinsey & Company.
Rajan Anandan in a tweet said: “8 amazing years. 850 million internet users across India and SEA. Many billions of revenue and fastest growing region in the world.”
Some of the companies in which Rajan Anandan invested include WebEngage, Instamojo, Capillary Technologies, TravelKhana, and EasyGov.