A Google software engineer has said he is no longer a part of the company.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Friday that Amit Singhal, who was hired by the company in 2015, will be leaving to form his own software engineering firm.
Pichai said Singhal will be joining a new company called Spark, which will focus on “innovative and disruptive technologies” for the online advertising industry.
Singhal has worked at Google since 2010.
The company has said that he left to form Spark after the company’s search results algorithm was flagged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC is currently investigating whether Google’s search algorithm is biased against advertisers by favoring results from its own businesses and its partners.
The search company has denied that it is.
The announcement of Singhal’s departure came after he was suspended from the company for allegedly violating the company policy that requires engineers to sign non-disclosure agreements, according to an announcement from the FTC.
Singhal has said the non-agreement prevented him from testifying in a class-action lawsuit brought by the FTC and other consumers and other critics of Google.
Singhal’s suspension came just over a week after the FTC’s chief privacy officer, Margo Wiegand, sent a letter to Google CEO Sundaram Pichari saying that the company failed to meet its commitment to disclose details of the FTC investigation.
Pritchett also announced Friday that he will be retiring from Google after nearly four years at the company, effective immediately.
Pitchford announced Friday he would step down from the board of directors at the end of the month and that he would be leaving his position as CEO.
Pichais, in a statement, thanked Pritchetti for the “extraordinary service” he provided the company over the last four years.
The timing of Pichoi’s announcement suggests that Google will have to come up with a new way to address the FTC complaint that Singhal violated the company code of conduct.
The FTC complaint accuses Google of having a “pattern or practice” of discriminating against advertisers.
The FTC’s investigation into the matter was triggered by a complaint by a user who claimed he was falsely advertised on Google’s AdSense platform as a professional drawing artist.
Google’s search algorithms and ad tech platform, Google AdWords, both use Google AdSense.
Pairing the search algorithms with the AdWords platform could make it more difficult for users to accurately determine the true artistic talent of their online business.
Pitching the ad tech for advertising purposes could also raise concerns for Google’s ad tech partner, DisplayAds, which is the software that manages Google’s display ads.
The complaint also alleges that Google Adsense is an illegal “paid advertising program” that uses a “false and misleading” claim to boost its business.
The complaint alleges that AdSense has a “pandering” feature that encourages people to click on links and then to buy products and services, thereby taking advantage of consumers.
Pilgrim’s report on Google and the FTC is due by March 25.