Aditya Agarwal (born 30 May 1982) in Dhanbad, India is a Computer Scientist, Engineering Leader and Venture Investor. Agarwal was an early engineer at Facebook where he wrote the Facebook Search Engine. He was also Facebook’s first Director of Product Engineering. After leaving Facebook in early 2011, he started Cove — a modern collaboration software company. Cove was acquired by Dropbox and Agarwal joined as the VP of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer. Agarwal is also on the board of Flipkart — India’s leading e-commerce provider.
Early life and education
Agarwal was born in India. His father was a chemical engineer and his mother was a homemaker. Agarwal moved with his family to many countries: Cameroon, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and eventually settled in the United States. He was interested in computers and programming since a young age, and took programming classes while in Indonesia.
After completing high school, Agarwal went to Carnegie Mellon University to pursue computer science. Agarwal obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science. Agarwal’s post-graduate research focused on automatic clustering and segmentation of email corpora.
After graduating CMU in 2004, Agarwal saw many of his batchmates move to Wall Street (the financial sector), but he wanted to enter the technology sector, so he began work at Oracle Inc in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2005, he met Mark Zuckerberg after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance. Zuckerberg, who had started Facebook in 2004, impressed Agarwal, leading Agarwal to begin work at Facebook. Agarwal also persuaded his former CMU colleague and future wife Ruchi Sanghvi to work at Facebook.
Agarwal and Sanghvi worked at Facebook till 2010.
Cove and Dropbox
After leaving Facebook, Agarwal and his wife Ruchi Sanghvi, co-founded Cove, a stealth collaboration startup. In February 2012, it was announced that Dropbox was acquiring Cove, and that both Agarwal and Sanghvi were joining Dropbox. In October 2016, Agarwal was promoted from vice-president of engineering to chief technology officer (CTO), replacing co-founder Arash Ferdowsi.
In July 2017, Agarwal announced in a Facebook post that he was leaving Dropbox, while expressing excitement about its trajectory.
Agarwal is an investor and advisor in a number of Silicon Valley companies including cancer drug developer Stemcentrx, workspace collaboration application Asana, storage and collaboration service Dropbox (where he was the CTO), Pinterest and Quora. He was also the independent director on Flipkart’s board of directors.
Agarwal was listed as one of the founders of FWD.us, a 501(c)(4) lobbying group formed in Silicon Valley to promote immigration reform, improve education, and facilitate technological breakthroughs in the United States.24 The group launched on 11 April 2013.25
He was also on the board of the Anita Borg Institute, the leading organization advocating for gender equality in the technology workforce.
He also serves on the advisory board of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Agarwal is married to engineer Ruchi Sanghvi, who was also his co-worker at Facebook and Dropbox and co-founder with him of Cove (which was acquired by Dropbox). The couple married in 2010 in India, with Mark Zuckerberg attending the wedding.
- Lien, Tracey (May 19, 2017). "How being thrown into the deep end by Mark Zuckerberg prepared Aditya Agarwal to lead". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Rouvalis, Cristina (August 8, 2017). "Challenges, Adventure Empower Agarwal". Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- "Ruchi Sanghvi". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Gupte, Masoom (January 29, 2015). "How a chance meeting with Mark Zuckerberg led Aditya Agarwal to be on Facebook's original team". Economic Times, Times of India. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Tsotsis, Alexia (2012-02-27). "Dropbox Buys Cove To Bring Former Facebookers Ruchi Sanghvi And Aditya Agarwal To The Team". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Houston, Drew; Ferdowsi, Arash (October 13, 2016). "Introducing our new CTO, Aditya Agarwal". Dropbox. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Kim, Eugene (October 14, 2016). "Dropbox cofounder Arash Ferdowsi passes off CTO role to VP of engineering". Business Insider. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Novet, Jordan (October 13, 2016). "Dropbox appoints new CTO, Aditya Agarwal, takes over for cofounder Arash Ferdowsi". VentureBeat. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Lynley, Matthew (July 21, 2017). "Dropbox CTO Aditya Agarwal is leaving". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- D'Monte, Leslie; Khan, Zahra (November 29, 2013). "I just happen to be a woman who is aggressive: Ruchi Sanghvi Facebook's first woman engineer on the US immigration Bill, her reasons for investing in firms such as Flipkart, and being a member of FWD.us". Livemint. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
- "Ruchi-Aditya wedding". Facebook. Retrieved June 30, 2014.