SINGAPORE: Ride-hailing company Grab announced on Wednesday (Oct 25) it has appointed an alumni from Google and Microsoft to be its chief technology officer (CTO), even as it expands on its research and development capabilities.
The Singapore-based company said it has appointed Mr Theo Vassilakis as its CTO, who will set the strategic direction for its technology team. This comes as it invests in expanding its R&D, such as doubling the number of R&D centres from three to six in 2017, and planning to add close to 1,000 such jobs across these centres by end 2018.
Grab had lost its vice president of engineering Arul Kumaravel, who was heading up its technology initiatives, this year due to personal reasons, according to a report by TechCrunch in August.
“Theo’s fantastic track record as an engineering leader, entrepreneur and teacher at global technology companies makes him an invaluable addition to our executive team. With our platform generating 10 terabytes of data per day and doubling that number every quarter, we’re happy we can bring on board Theo’s deep expertise in scaling machine learning and engineering systems,” said Mr Anthony Tan, Group CEO and co-founder of Grab.
Mr Tan added that the new CTO will oversee Grab’s transport and payments platforms, lead the growth of its services and support the further development of machine learning, AI, data science and infrastructure scaling capabilities.
Mr Vassilakis was previously a partner, architect and development manager for Microsoft's platform-as-a-service Azure as well as a principal engineer and engineering director at Google. He also founded and was CEO at Metanautix, a big data analytics start-up that was bought by Microsoft in 2015, the press release said.