Friday, February 21, 2014
Ruchi Sanghvi (born January 20, 1982) was the first female engineer hired by the social-networking website Facebook.
Ruchi Sanghvi was the Principal Product Manager at Facebook, where she oversaw Facebook Platform and News Feed. She was responsible for the company’s Platform product strategy and new product initiatives. Ruchi was an early engineer at Facebook and one of the primary developers for News Feed. Prior to Facebook, she was a software engineer in the Real Time Communication Group at Oracle. Ruchi holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical computer engineering fromCarnegie Mellon University.
In late 2010, she quit Facebook and in 2011, she started her own company Cove, with two other co-founders. The company was shutdown and the team was hired byDropbox in 2012.
Sanghvi was raised in Pune, India. When she was young, she intended to join her father's business after completing her studies. Sanghvi pursued her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in electrical computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Sanghvi, along with fellow Carnegie Mellon University student Aditya Agarwal, joined Facebook in 2005. Sanghvi was Facebook's first female engineer.
Sanghvi was one of the main people working on the first version of Facebook's news feed product, first launched in September 2006, and she wrote the blog post announcing its launch. The original news feed was an algorithmically generated and constantly refreshing summary of updates about the activities of one's friends. The concept was relatively new at the time, with Twitter having launched only a few months in advance.
The News Feed feature was greeted with a lot of pushback and criticism, including some that was directed personally at Sanghvi. The criticism was dealt with through the introduction of new privacy controls in terms of what personal data would appear in friends' news feeds. These privacy controls were coded in a hectic 48-hour coding session by Sanghvi and other Facebook engineers including Chris Cox and Adam Bosworth, and announced in a contrite blog post by Facebook's principal founder Mark Zuckerberg.
In late 2010, Ruchi Sanghvi left Facebook and in 2011, co-founded a stealth collaboration startup called Cove along with Aditya Agarwal. In February 2012, Dropbox, the file synchronization and backup service company, announced that it had acquired Cove and that Sanghvi and Agarwal would be joining Dropbox. As of March 2012, both Sanghvi and Agarwal are working at Dropbox. Ruchi is the Vice President of Operations at Dropbox, managing product, marketing, communications and other functions.
Ruchi Sanghvi is an investor and adviser in a number of Silicon Valley companies including privacy-oriented photo-sharing service Path and workplace collaboration application Asana.
Ruchi Sanghvi 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. The group launched on April 11, 2013.
Sanghvi's personal story was featured on the FWD.us website's "Stories" section.