Google is reorganizing the Devices & Services teams responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit hardware. This change was announced to employees today, and Google confirmed the changes in a statement to 9to5Google.
Previously, the Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit divisions had distinct, independent teams to handle aspects such as design, hardware engineering, software, UI, etc. Google’s hardware effort basically housed a miniature company for phones, another for smart home, and a third wearables. This, in large part, reflects how Google bought Nest (in 2014) and then Fitbit.
In reorganizing, Google is switching to a functional organization model where, for example, there will be one team responsible for hardware engineering across Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit. As such, there will be a single leader for that aspect of products across all Google hardware.
It remains to be seen whether this will lead to more unified products across the different form factors, with the Pixel phone team largely staying in place today from what we’ve heard. Looking at the tech landscape, Apple has a similar functional organization model with centralized Software Engineering, Services, Hardware Technologies, and Hardware Engineering organizations.
As part of this reorganization, we’ve learned that Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman, as well as other Fitbit leaders, are leaving Google.
When Google closed the Fitbit acquisition in January 2021, James Park stayed on as a vice president and general manager of Fitbit. He went on to announce the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 for Google, with his last appearance being in October. Besides smartwatches…
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