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Blackstone Hires Walmart AI Expert to Drive AI Integration Across Portfolio Companies

Blackstone's unparalleled scale and breadth of industries present an exciting challenge to create a blueprint for successfully integrating AI across various sectors

In a strategic move to capitalize on the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) across its vast portfolio, Blackstone has appointed Prakhar Mehrotra, a seasoned AI executive formerly of Walmart, to lead its Applied AI efforts.

Bringing Expertise to Wall Street

Mehrotra, who previously spearheaded applied AI initiatives at Walmart, joins Blackstone to head Applied AI within the firm’s data science team. With over 400 data scientists under his leadership at Walmart, Mehrotra brings a wealth of experience in integrating AI into merchandising strategies, including assortment, pricing, and inventory management.

Driving Innovation and Growth

“Blackstone’s unparalleled scale and breadth of industries present an exciting challenge to create a blueprint for successfully integrating AI across various sectors,” said Mehrotra. “By collaborating closely with these businesses and leveraging my expertise, we can drive innovation, efficiency, and growth, unlocking the transformative power of AI.”

Talent as the Key Impediment

According to Matthew Katz, Blackstone’s global head of data science, the firm recognizes the importance of AI in driving business value across its diverse holdings. However, the need for AI talent has been identified as a significant challenge. Katz highlighted a survey indicating that talent scarcity is the “single greatest impediment for our businesses to harness gains from AI.”

PE Firms Embrace AI Expertis

Prakhar Mehrotra’s hiring reflects a broader trend among private equity (PE) firms, which are increasingly prioritizing AI expertise to drive value creation within their portfolio companies. Deepali Vyas, global head of fintech and applied intelligence at Korn Ferry, noted that PE firms are offering lucrative pay packages of up to $2 million to attract top AI talent.

Technology as a Catalyst for Growth

PE firms like Blackstone are leveraging technology, including AI and cloud computing, to enhance portfolio company performance. By harnessing AI capabilities, firms aim to accelerate growth, optimize operations, and increase exit valuations. Blackstone’s investment in AI leadership underscores its commitment to driving innovation and unlocking value across its extensive portfolio.

Continued Investment in Technology Resources

Blackstone’s focus on technology extends beyond AI leadership. The firm has a track record of investing in technology resources for its portfolio companies, such as Data Direct, a tool built on the public cloud to facilitate real-time data access and market insights. These investments underscore Blackstone’s dedication to leveraging technology as a strategic advantage in today’s competitive landscape.

Prakhar Mehrotra’s appointment marks a significant step for Blackstone as it seeks to harness the full potential of AI across its portfolio, signaling a commitment to driving innovation and growth in the evolving landscape of private equity.

Picture of Anshika Mathews
Anshika Mathews
Anshika is an Associate Research Analyst working for the AIM Leaders Council. She holds a keen interest in technology and related policy-making and its impact on society. She can be reached at anshika.mathews@aimresearch.co
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