Google has quietly hired a key executive from controversial startup Palantir to be a VP of engineering (GOOG, GOOGL)
Google has quietly hired a key executive from controversial startup Palantir to be a VP of engineering (GOOG, GOOGL)

arvind kc google palantir

Google has quietly hired one of big data firm Palantir’s senior executives.

Arvind KC worked for Palantir for almost five years as its chief information officer, before being poached by Google to be a new vice president of engineering for the Mountain View, California-headquartered search and technology giant in July, Business Insider Insider has learned.

Neither of the two companies appear to have publicly announced the move, though KC has since updated his public LinkedIn profile to reflect his new role.

Palantir provides data analysis tools for law enforcement, federal clients, financial firms, and other industries. It has been the target of protesters in recent months, over its work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement that has purportedly aided the agency’s deportations of immigrants. 

At the company, KC held a crucial role in building and maintaining the infrastructure for the company that enabled its activities, including security, business applications, productivity, and technical support.

On a podcast in December 2018, he characterised Palantir as trying to “find the Tony Starks of the world and make the Iron Man suits for them.” The job of his IT organisation, he said, “is to be Palantir’s Palantir. We’ve got to give the Iron Man suits for the people who are making Iron Man suits.”

It’s not immediately clear what prompted KC’s move from Palantir, an insular, privately-held company cofounded by Peter Thiel. A Palantir spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. KC also did not respond to a request for comment.

One person familiar with the exec’s move to Google said his role would involve work with data for the people operations team — a department more commonly referred outside of Silicon Valley as Human Resources or simply, HR. Google had more than 107,000 full time employees at the end of June, and according to media reports has another 120,000 temporary workers and contractors on its payroll.

Google representatives declined to comment. 

Hundreds of Google employees have also been highly vocal in their opposition to ICE’s work, signing petitions calling on Google not to provide technical services to it and other immigration-related government agencies.

Before Palantir, KC worked at Facebook as a director of IT. He has been replaced at Palantir in the CIO role by Kori Oliver, formerly the company’s chief information security officer.

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SEE ALSO: Google employees are being encouraged by colleagues to keep silent on Trump’s provocative tweets because they think any comments would be ‘spun’ by the far-right press

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Google has quietly hired a key executive from controversial startup Palantir to be a VP of engineering (GOOG, GOOGL)

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