Rick Osterloh

Google has announced a major internal reorganization which forms the “Platform and Devices” team that, under Rick Osterloh, will oversee Pixel, Nest, Android, Chrome, and more.

Announced via The Verge, Google will reorganize its Android, Chrome, ChromeOS, Photos, and other teams to be under the same roof as Pixel, Nest, and other hardware efforts. Rick Osterloh will lead the new “Platform and Devices” team.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, the long-time lead of the Android team, will move to undisclosed “other projects” within Google and Alphabet.

This shift won’t break down the “firewall” that’s existed between Pixel and Android as a whole, though, Osterloh says. Google’s Sameer Samat will take up a role as the “President of the Android Ecosystem,” which will continue to work with third-party Android efforts.

Osterloh says the reasoning for this change is to advance the company’s AI efforts.

Having Android, Pixel, and more all under the same roof will allow for faster adoption of AI across Google’s products, particularly with Android in mind. One example given of how this will speed up AI products is that Jay Yagnik, an engineer in Google’s AI team, will be moving to Osterloh’s team to facilitate getting the latest AI models from DeepMind to the product teams. Apparently, the new structure will allow Google to more quickly move teams around to build product applications with the latest AI models Google is working on.

To the end consumer, it sounds like the changes from this structure won’t necessarily be in the final product, at least for now, but rather the speed at which these updates and changes come.

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