NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Alphabet-owned Google on Tuesday promoted hardware chief Rick Osterloh to the top spot — six months after the search giant fumbled its debut of a high-profile new consumer device, the $1,000 Pixel 3.

During the 2018 launch of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, Google never seemed to get a handle on the glitches and limited availability that plagued the product.

When a reviewer described the Pixel 3 as being “dragged across the landscape like an airplane carrier’s keel,” many fellow journalists, users and even tech journalists denounced the portrayal of a product that “speaks Google but looks like Apple.”

Google has vowed that it will “make things right” with the Pixel line.

Now, with Osterloh atop the company, Google will hope that he can turn the Pixel line around and deliver innovation that will differentiate it from the competition.

Osterloh, who has been with Google since 2006, was previously chief operating officer and the head of its hardware group. Google said earlier this year that it would reorganize under a hardware division.

The move continues Alphabet’s continued shift away from hardware investments like the Google Home smart speaker and Nest smart home system. Hardware was a central part of its business for years. But Google began to cut back on hardware development in 2017.

The Alphabet board appointed former Apple executive Qi Lu to chairman of the company’s hardware group earlier this year.

“This is an important time for Google as we continue to drive increased creativity and impact in hardware and empower more people around the world,” Lu said in a statement.

That potential to shape technology is what drew Google’s previous leaders to the company. In 2012, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Andy Rubin helped develop the company’s flagship line of smartphones, the Nexus, which became a big part of Google’s Android ambitions.

But over the years, Google’s move toward hardware and away from software as a service caught many by surprise. Back in 2014, Rubin left the company — and once again, it was the CEO who followed.

Last year, Sundar Pichai took over the CEO role and was tasked with transforming the company away from its history of software and hardware bets.

Analysts have applauded Pichai’s leadership. So far, his initiatives seem to be showing results: Google’s profits grew more than double in the most recent quarter, thanks in part to its ad business.

More broadly, the departure of leaders like Rubin and Android Chief Hiroshi Lockheimer are part of an ongoing trend at Google and Google parent Alphabet. As co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have given up day-to-day responsibilities at Alphabet, and the board has become a bigger part of Alphabet’s overall direction, a slew of product and business leaders have left the company.

In recent years, Google’s teams have been under strain as the company deals with greater demands than ever. Critics blame management and sales turmoil for poor management of a nascent public cloud computing business and other projects as well.

Last year, Google first split its hardware and cloud businesses — which are led by Osterloh and Pichai, respectively — into two distinct units. Its Pixel smartphone line continues to support PixelCloud, the company’s streaming music service.

Many Silicon Valley tech giants have had to contend with consumer frustration with their hardware products — and some have responded well.

LG, for example, is currently receiving praise for its flagship Android smartphone — the LG V40 ThinQ — which users have praised for its camera and security features. And last month, Samsung unveiled a new version of its Galaxy S9 phone, featuring advanced facial recognition technology in place of face unlock.

Even Apple is feeling pressure from iPhone users who experience trouble with their devices. Its HomePod smart speaker faced negative reviews earlier this year, and early reviews of the latest iPad are proving to be ugly as well.

Alphabet also makes a host of other products, including search, Gmail, Chrome and Waymo, the autonomous vehicle company.

Pichai in a statement said he “couldn’t be more excited” about Osterloh’s promotion.

“To enable tremendous growth and innovation across our product lines, we needed a leader with both product vision and the talent to execute,” Pichai said. “Rick has the intelligence and foresight to envision and build our future.”

Copyright 2018 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Spread the fake ai universe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.