Vishal Makhijani, the longtime chief executive of online education company Udacity, is stepping down as its chief executive officer, TechCrunch has learned.
Makhijani first joined the company in 2013 as chief operating officer under Sebastian Thrun, the company’s founder and chief executive at the time.
In 2016, Thrun, the original architect of Alphabet’s self-driving car initiatives and a storied entrepreneur and engineer in Silicon Valley, handed the reins of his online education startup to Makhijani, who assumed the mantle of CEO while Thrun became chairman and president of the company.
In an interview, Makhijani declined to disclose his next steps, but Thrun praised the executive for taking Udacity to new heights and hailed him as a key contributor to the company’s continuing growth.
As Thrun wrote in a blog post praising Makhijani for his tireless efforts:
Over the last five years, Vish worked with hundreds of tech companies to build curriculum focused on opening up
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