Today we’re talking to Sean Mullaney, CTO at Algolia. We discuss Sean’s entrepreneurial journey that brought him to leadership, why internet search is largely outdated, and how AI is transforming search and bringing us into the future.

All of this right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast! 

For more about Algolia, check out their website:

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Produced by ProSeries Media.

About Sean Mullaney:

Sean Mullaney is Algolia Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He is responsible for scaling Algolia’s best-in-class engineering organizations, developing Algolia’s AI powered Search and Discovery technologies, and growing our API-first solutions globally.

He  joined Algolia from Stripe, where he most recently acted as the Chief Information Officer in Europe and led a global engineering organization overseeing the development and operations of 40+ local payment methods across Europe, Asia, and the Americas that processed hundreds of billions of dollars. 

Prior to his time at Stripe, Mullaney oversaw the development of AI powered discovery experiences, including search, recommendations, personalisation and browse as the VP of Engineering at Zalando, the largest eCommerce fashion retailer in Europe with nearly 50M active customers.  Mullaney also spent more than seven years at Google heading various innovation teams, including three years at the Google research labs in Silicon Valley.   

In addition to serving as CTO of Algolia, Mullaney serves as a Board Member for Manna Drone Delivery, a Venture Advisory Board Member for Elkstone Ventures, is a member of the Market Advisory Group at the European Central Bank advising on the design of the Digital Euro and an active startup advisor and a Sequoia Scout angel investor.   

Mullaney earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Cambridge.

About Algolia:

Algolia is the world’s only end-to-end AI search and discovery platform. The company delivers a combination of market-leading keyword and natural language processing via vector search – all uniquely packaged on a single API and supported by hyperscale indexing. The company’s vision, mission and purpose is ‘Powering Discovery. Algolia achieves its vision by enabling more than 17,000 customers including Under Armour, Stripe, Petsmart, Walgreens, Proctor & Gamble, Sony, NBC (Universal), British Telecom and Citibank, to build blazing fast and relevant search and discovery experiences for their in-app users and/or online visitors (using any web, mobile or voice device) – by surfacing the desired content instantly and at scale. Algolia powers 1.75 Trillion search requests a year or more than 30 Billion a week – that’s four times more than the combined volume of Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Baidu and Yandex). Algolia is used by one in six online users and more than 5 million developers a month.

At the core of Algolia’s platform is hyper-scalability. During the 2022 Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, Algolia handled more than 100,000 search interactions a second without a single failure. One customer, Gymshark, experienced 15,000 queries per second with zero interruption to service. According to a Forrester Consulting study, customers gain a 382% Return on Investment with less than a 6 month payback period when deploying the Algolia Search and Discovery platform.  Founded in 2012 in Paris, the company grew and subsequently moved its headquarters to San Francisco to expand its operations and penetrate the North American market.

Joel Beasley

Joel Beasley founded the Modern CTO Podcast in 2017 while writing his book, the Modern CTO book, with the goal of interviewing CTOs and sharing their experiences with others in the tech community.

Joel’s conversational style and insightful questions quickly gained traction, attracting high-profile guests such as Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scott, and T-Mobile’s CIO, Cody Stanford. With each episode, the podcast’s popularity continued to grow, and soon, Joel found himself with a waiting list of future guests.

Today, the Modern CTO Podcast has become the number one leadership and tech podcast in the world, with over 150k active listeners, including CTOs, lead developers, and rising tech leaders. Joel’s commitment to creating a conversational atmosphere for his guests to share their experiences has inspired a new generation of leaders and innovators.

As the success of the podcast grew, Joel founded ProSeries Media, a podcast production company that helps companies worldwide create their own podcasts. With a team of producers, content creators, and podcast bookers, ProSeries Media produces over ten shows, providing a platform for companies to connect with their audience and share their expertise.

Through his work on the Modern CTO Podcast and ProSeries Media, Joel Beasley has become a respected voice in the tech industry, inspiring others to share their knowledge and insights with the wider community. His passion for creating engaging content that informs, inspires, and entertains has made him a sought-after speaker and advisor on all things tech.

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