Google is setting up a new hardware division to centralize the company’s hardware project, according to a report from Re/code. This new division will be directed by former Motorola’s president Rick Osterloh whom Google just brought back for the job.
The new hardware division will take ownership of most of the hardware projects inside Google. This includes the Google’s Nexus devices, Chromecast, Chromebooks, and the Pixel C. According to Google, Osterloh’s hardware team will be working closely with Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer, who is in charge of the development of Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast. Lockheimer will still be involved in the Nexus project, but will now focus mainly on the software side.
Osterloh will also oversee some of the struggling hardware projects of Google- the OnHub wireless home router, ATAP and Google Glass. The most noteworthy however is the ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects group) which houses the modular phone effort, Project Ara. The modular phone initiative is delayed since 2015 and until today, ATAP has yet to ship any hardware. To make things worse, one of its hardware chief, Regina Dugan left for Facebook early this month. With all the recent shake-up, it will be interesting to see what Osterloh has in store for these projects.
This latest company restructuring move has also made Osterloh a Senior Vice President of Google, a second stint at the company after indirectly leaving it. He originally lead Motorola during Google’s ownership of the hardware maker; until Google sold the business to Lenovo in 2014. Osterloh stayed on as the Motorola President but left last month due to a reorganisation at the Chinese company. Now he’s back and he will be reporting directly to CEO Sundar Pichai.
The recent changes made by Google’s parent company Alphabet is definitely an interesting one. We are excited to see what this new hardware division will bring to the table. Maybe two new Nexus devices?