Google makes a strategic move, crowns Sundar Pichai as head of product at Google

Sundar Pichai

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says public cloud is a "natural place for us" to compete. 

Credit: Sam Churchill

We have a saying around the Greenbot newsroom that the most exciting tech-centric news usually hits on Friday afternoons. Google just dropped a Friday afternoon news bomb.

Recode reports that Google CEO Larry Page has transferred leadership of research, search, maps, Google+, commerce and ad products, and infrastructure divisions over to Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai, formerly head of Android and Chrome OS. Page will continue to oversee a number of divisions, including business and operations, access and energy, Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, legal, finance, and business, which includes ad sales. YouTube is not included in the deal because CEO Susan Wojcicki will continue to run that division somewhat independently.

According to Recode's sources close to the situation, the move stems from Page’s fear that Google’s products will grow less innovative as the company ages. Thus, the move should help create “less of a bottleneck” so that Pichai can focus his attention fully on making those existing and future products turn heads. 

Why this matters: It may all sound like inside baseball from where you’re sitting, but it’s a critical move for Google and it may mean better Google products for you in the future. The consolidation of divisions under one leader will help the company unify its business across the board rather than have Android, Chrome, and the rest operate as individual entities. Because that’s really frustrating when you’re building an empire.

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Android’s new motto is “Be together. Not the same.” Seems to apply to Google’s employee restructuring, too.

Android and Chrome OS have been somewhat rewired to work together seamlessly, anyway, and there’s already been rumors afloat that Chrome OS and Android would eventually become one, so it isn’t too farfetched to assume that this is the beginning of it all. What’s unclear, however, is how Pichai’s promotion will affect some of Google’s perennially not-released products, like Google Glass.

For the most part, it seems that while Google’s search and related ad business is what’s effectively keeping the engines running, it’s Android, Chrome OS, and the strong developer involvement behind that ecosystem that Google wants to leverage.

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