When Google bought Motorola in 2011, it was widely known that it was to gather up important patents regarding Android. Many believed, however, that Google would use Motorola’s manufacturing capabilities to build a new hardware division. That all went out the window when Google sold Motorola to Lenovo just three years later.
But after Google lost one of its hardware chiefs, Regina Dugan, to Facebook, the company began seriously thinking about a shake-up in its hardware division. Re/code has learned that the search giant has hired former Motorola President Rick Osterloh as a senior vice president who will report directly to CEO Sundar Pichai.
Osterloh hasn’t been unemployed for too long, as he only left his previous position last month. He will now run the new hardware product line, overseeing Google’s Nexus devices, according to a Google representative that confirmed the news to Re/code.
Android Senior Vice President Hiroshi Lockheimer will now work more on the software and platform development side, and Osterloh will take over the hardware development aspect, as well as maintaining the company’s OEM partnerships. A lot the hardware-related projects Lockheimer oversaw are being pushed towardsOsterloh.
The hardware division Osterloh will lead also includes products under the “living room” category, which shows how serious Google is about improving its connected devices for a smarter home. Osterloh will also oversee the Chromecast streaming stick; consumer hardware like Chromebooks and the Pixel C; Google’s wireless router, OnHub; Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects division, which includes Project Ara; and Google Glass, which also includes Project Aura (the next iteration of the headgear).
Nest, the smart thermostat — and its CEO, Tony Fadel — is staying separate from Google.
We have reached out to Google for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
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