Grab hires former Google and Microsoft man as CTO

By Jonathan Dyble
Ride-hailing technology firm Grab has announced the appointment of former Google Engineering Director and Microsoft Azure Partner Theo Vassilakisits new...

Ride-hailing technology firm Grab has announced the appointment of former Google Engineering Director and Microsoft Azure Partner Theo Vassilakis its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

The Singapore-based Uber-rival is the leading on-demand transportation service and mobile payments platform across Southeast Asia.

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“Southeast Asia is an incredibly exciting region. There’s an opportunity to make the lives of hundreds of millions of people easier by developing products and services that can bring convenience and income opportunities,” said Vassilakis. “I look forward to working with Anthony and the Grab team to drive further the scalability, reliability and machine-learning capability of our platform as we move towards that goal.”

Vassilakis will fill the gap that was left by the company’s first CTO and key player in the creation of Connect with Facebook, Wei Zhu, who left Grab back in 2015, later suing the company for alleged unpaid earnings.

“Theo’s fantastic track record as an engineering leader, entrepreneur and teacher at global technology companies makes him an invaluable addition to our executive team,” said Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-Founder, Grab.” With our platform generating 10 terabytes of data per day and doubling that number every quarter, we’re happy we can bring on board Theo’s deep expertise in scaling machine learning and engineering systems.”

Vassilakis joins Grab at a time when the company is expanding, having made significant investments into the platform.

This year alone, the company has launched its new GrabNow, GrabShuttle and JustGrab services, each providing different transportation solutions. Further, Grab has doubled the number of its research and development facilities to six, with the firm on track to have added 1000 more jobs before the years end.

“Theo joins Grab at a moment of opportunity as we cement our on-demand transport market leadership and expand GrabPay to more merchants and small businesses,” Anthony added. “In his role as CTO, he will oversee Grab’s transport and payments platforms, lead the growth of our services, and support the further development of our machine learning, AI, data science and infrastructure scaling capabilities.”

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