Snowflake’s New CEO: 5 Things To Know From Google To AI

‘There is no better person than Sridhar to lead Snowflake into this next phase of growth and deliver on the opportunity ahead in AI and machine learning,’ says Snowflake’s now former CEO Frank Slootman.

Cloud data juggernaut Snowflake has a new CEO in AI expert and former Google executive Sridhar Ramaswamy.

At the same time, the Bozeman, Mont.-based cloud and AI company unveiled that current Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman is retiring, effective immediately.

“Snowflake is at the epicenter of the AI revolution,” said Slootman during the company’s fourth quarter 2024 financial earnings report Wednesday night. “There is no better person than Sridhar to lead Snowflake into this next phase of growth and deliver on the opportunity ahead in AI and machine learning.”

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In 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, Snowflake moved its office headquarters from San Mateo, Calif. to Bozeman, Montana. Snowflake said at the time that it designated Bozeman as its principal executive office because, in part, it was where CEO Slootman and chief financial officer Mike Scarpelli were based. Snowflake did not immediately respond for comment on whether its headquarters will change following Slootman’s departure.

From his Google heritage to co-founding generative AI search company Neeva, here are five things Snowflake partners, customers and investors need to know about Sridhar Ramaswamy.

Sridhar Ramaswamy’s Tech Career Took Off At Google

Ramaswamy started his IT career in the mid-1990s by holding research positions at Bell Labs and Lucent Technologies. However, he joined Google in 2003 as a software engineer and stayed with the company for 15 years.

Ramaswamy worked his way up through the engineering latter at Google to eventually become senior vice president of engineering in 2011.

He spent the last five years at Google as senior vice president of Advertising & Commerce. In this role, Ramaswamy led all of Google’s Advertising products, which included search, display and video advertising, analytics, shopping, payments, and travel.

During his 15 years at Google, he was an integral part of the growth of AdWords and Google’s advertising business from $1.5 billion to over $100 billion.

Co-Founded AI Startup Neeva, Later Acquired By Snowflake

In early 2019, Ramaswamy co-founded AI-powered search engine company Neeva, which provided an advertising-free and tracking-free search engine.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based IT company looked to make search even more intelligent at scale by creating a search engine that leverages generative AI and other innovations to allow users to query and discover data in new ways. Neeva raised a total of over $75 million in funding over the years.

In May 2023, Snowflake acquired Neeva.

“Neeva will enable Snowflake users and application developers to build rich search-enabled and conversational experiences,” said Slootman at the time. “We believe Neeva will increase our opportunity to allow non-technical users to extract value from their data.”

Ramaswamy officially joined Snowflake in June 2023.

Ramaswamy Will Drive GenAI For Snowflake

Snowflake’s new CEO said his company has massive goals to do more around generative AI.

“We have so much ambition to do more. Whether it is applications running on top of Snowflake, or using the power of generative AI—which I’ve been focused on for the past year—to democratize access to enterprise data, to have even more people be able to get at the data quickly to get value from it,” Ramaswamy said in an interview with CNBC today.

“So I think there’s a huge opportunity in the world of data applications and AI that’ll keep me busy for many years to come,” he said.

Ramaswamy said he’s excited to start a new phase of the Snowflake journey.

“Snowflake is a once-in-a-generation company and a truly special place,” he said on LinkedIn. “I love our customer-first obsession to deliver a tightly integrated and efficient platform. I am excited by the expansiveness of our vision around a true Data Cloud: where data and applications come together for our customers and our developer partners.”

Frank Slootman: ‘I’m Finally Done’

On Wednesday, Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman said he is retiring, but will remain chairman of the Snowflake board of directors.

Slootman is a longtime industry veteran and one of the top IT executives in the world.

He was CEO and chairman of data specialist ServiceNow for six years from 2011 to 2017. Slootman was also president and CEO of data storage all-star Data Domain in the 2000s before it was acquired by EMC in 2009.

About two years after leaving ServiceNow and announcing his retirement, Slootman took over as CEO of Snowflake in 2019.

However, Slootman said his retirement from Snowflake will be his last.

“I’m finally done,” said Slootman in an interview on CNBC. “I don’t want to be one of those quarterbacks who doesn’t know how to get off the field.”

Snowflake Stock Drops 20 Percent

Following the news of Slootman’s departure during Snowflake’s fourth quarter earnings report on Wednesday, Snowflake’s stock sank 20 percent in after-hours trading.

Snowflake’s stock is currently trading at $186.62 per share, down 19 percent, as of Thursday afternoon.

During its Q4 earnings call, Snowflake executives also issued sales guidance for fiscal year 2025 that appears to be lower than Wall Street expectations.

Snowflake is forecasting 22 percent product growth revenue for its fiscal year 2025, expecting to hit $3.25 billion in FY 2024.

However, Ramaswamy said he is bullish about Snowflake’s future with himself at the helm.

“We have an enormous opportunity ahead to help all customers leverage AI to deliver massive business value,” said Ramaswamy. “My focus will be on accelerating our ability to bring innovation to our customers and partners.”