As we’ve essentially already found out everything there was to know about the “Made by Google” Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, we’re moving behind the scenes of the two’s twisted development process with a few hours still to go until they actually, formally break cover.
After appointing ex-Motorola President Rick Osterloh Senior Vice President of Mountain View’s hardware division back in spring, the search giant very quietly poached one David Foster from Amazon, whose installation in a key product engineering VP position remains technically under wraps.
Foster’s LinkedIn page continues to list Lab126 as his current employer, leading Amazon’s “device development teams, responsible for all hardware devices, including Kindle, Kindle Fire, Echo, Fire TV and Dash amongst others.”
Having previously personally led the hardware development of the Kindle Voyage and Paperwhite, as well as early Fire tablets, and before that, working for Apple and Microsoft in high-ranking management jobs, you can be certain Google threw a lot of money, authority and creative freedom Foster’s way to convince him to switch sides in the high-stakes mobile and home automation war.
What’s interesting is the industry veteran’s expertise was probably not used for Google Home’s pre-production evolution, as a “person familiar with the hiring” claims David Foster will specifically
“lead hardware development for Google’s new branded line of smartphones”, i.e. the Pixel duo.