DeepMind Hires Lila Ibrahim as First Chief Operating Officer

(Bloomberg) -- DeepMind, the artificial intelligence company owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc., has hired Lila Ibrahim to serve as its first chief operating officer.

In a blog post announcing her appointment, Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said he picked Ibrahim for "her organizational and technical expertise."

DeepMind, which was founded in 2010, has grown rapidly since Google purchased it for a reported 400 million pounds in 2014. It now employs more than 700 people in four different research labs and also has a satellite office in Menlo Park, California. It operates two separate divisions -- an arm that focuses on pure AI research and another that focuses on applications of artificial intelligence, particularly in health. In the past year it has also launched a major initiative on AI safety and ethics.

Ibrahim had been president and then COO at online education company Coursera, where she worked from August 2013 until November 2017. Previously, she worked as the chief of staff at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.

She is also the co-founder and chairperson of Team4Tech, a California-based non-profit organization that engages technology professionals to help teach science to underprivileged children. In addition, Ibrahim serves on the board of Gannett, the media company that owns USA Today and other newspapers.

She is currently based in California, but will relocate to London where DeepMind is headquartered, to start work at the end of the month.

DeepMind is best known for having created software capable of defeating the world’s best players of the ancient strategy game Go. Its research has also lead to improvements in how Google’s Assistant service generates speech, and to substantial power savings in Google’s data centers.

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