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Google VP of VR Clay Bavor
Source: Google

Google veteran Clay Bavor is leaving the company to build a startup focused on artificial intelligence with former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor.

“We share an obsession with recent advances in AI, and we’re excited to build a new company to apply AI to solve some of the most important problems in business,” Bavor wrote in a Linkedin post on Wednesday, announcing that he’s leaving Google after 18 years.

Bavor is currently vice president of Labs, a Google unit that focuses on “forward-looking bets for the company,” according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, Bavors started and led Google’s augmented reality and virtual reality efforts and also ran Project Starline and Google Lens.

Earlier in his tenure at Google, he led the product and design teams for Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Apps for Enterprise in addition to advertising and Search products.

Bavor said he’ll be starting the company with Taylor in March and wrapping things up at Google in the meantime.

Taylor stepped down as co-CEO of Salesforce on Jan. 31, leaving Marc Benioff alone again at the top of the cloud software company. Taylor, who previously worked at Google and Facebook, joined Salesforce through the 2016 acquisition of his last startup, Quip. He rapidly climbed the ranks, ascending to operating chief in 2019 and then co-CEO two years later.

The duo’s jump into AI comes as the race to create new products in the space heats up at Microsoft and Google, which have just announced advancements in generative AI that give new abilities to search, imagery and other tools.

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