Amit Singhal, the 48-year-old head of Google's search business, will be retiring from his post on February 26, parent company Alphabet Inc said on Wednesday. He will be succeeded by the head of the technology giant's artificial intelligence business, John Giannandrea. "Search is stronger than ever, and will only get better in the hands of an outstanding set of senior leaders who are already running the show day-to-day," Singhal wrote in a Google+ post.

Singhal, who joined Google in 2000, is a native of India and holds a doctorate in computer science from Cornell University. He said he wished to spend time with his family and intended to give away some of his fortune after his retirement, reported The New York Times. "My dream Star Trek computer is becoming a reality, and it is far better than what I ever imagined," he wrote in the post.

Giannandrea's appointment as Singhal's replacement highlights the growing importance of artificial intelligence technology in the Silicon Valley, reported Reuters. "Machine intelligence is crucial to our Search vision of building a truly intelligent assistant that connects our users to information and actions in the real world," Google said in an emailed statement.