Sep 7, 2022 - Economy

Longtime Washington Post tech chief Shailesh Prakash leaving for Google

Photo by Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Washington Post's longtime tech and data chief Shailesh Prakash is leaving the company for a new executive role at Google, sources told Axios.

Why it matters: Prakash has led The Post's design, product and tech teams for over a decade. He has long been considered the backbone of The Post's technological transformation.

Be smart: Prakash also led The Post's publishing arm, Arc XP, since its inception in 2015, as well as its ad tech arm Zeus. Axios reported earlier this year that The Post opted not to sell Arc XP, despite having sale conversations.

  • Sources told Axios that the plan for many years was for Prakash to lead Arc XP as a separate company, after a spin-off. It's unclear if Prakash's departure is tied to the fact that a spin-off didn't happen.
  • In a memo from CEO Fred Ryan announcing the new tole, Ryan said, "Google gives him (Prakash) a chance to further pursue his interests at the intersection of news and engineering and to have a profound impact around the world."

Details: The news came following an internal town hall Tuesday, in which Ryan discussed the media environment's competitive landscape.

  • Last week, The New York Times reported that The Post was set to lose money this year.
  • Ryan acknowledged Prakash's departure in a memo to staff Tuesday noting, he "made an indelible impact on The Post as well as the media industry at large."
  • "He has reshaped how we think about product and engineering, built a world-class engineering team, and launched thriving new businesses for The Post with Arc XP and Zeus."

What's next: Prakash begins at Google in November, per Ryan's note.

Go deeper