AdSense leader leaves Google for startup life

Another top Googler has left to start his own company. This time, it’s Gokul Rajaram, a product manager who was a key leader in the development of Google’s AdSense advertising service.

Rajaram joined Google in early 2003, when the company was just starting to work on ways of selling ads on other web sites. Rajaram started working with a team of four engineers, developing an algorithm for matching ads with text on sites in less than six months — now, Adsense is a cash cow, generating billions of dollars a year for the company. He is known around the Googleplex as one of its godfathers.

“I’ve been having the itch to do something entrepreneurial for awhile now,” Rajaram told Fortune, “I’m in my early 30s and I have some experience and financial security, so the time felt right.”

Rajaram says he is thinking about starting a consumer internet company, but also says he’s thinking about journalism and writing — you can read some of his works here.

Google, which has been hiring thousands of new employees over the past year, seems okay with Rajaram’s departure. Its senior leaders honored him with a large plaque signed by hundreds of Google employees, and threw him a farewell party at the ‘Plex a couple weeks ago, Fortune reports.

As has happened with every other successful company in Silicon Valley, the process of composting Google back into the local soil is now well under way. We broke the news last month that Salman Ullah, the former head of the Google team responsible for acquiring other companies, is leaving to start his own venture firm. The list just keeps getting longer. As we’ve mentioned several times, top engineer Benjamin Ling and dealmaking guru Gideon Yu have both left Google for Facebook.

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