Google’s acquisition of Motorola meant a lot of changes for the smartphone maker, but the company had some great talent on board that helped it through that period of adjustment. And no sooner had it adapted to life at Google than Motorola found itself being passed on to a new owner, as word of Lenovo’s acquisition plans arrived in early 2014. That meant some staffing shake-ups, and a few months later Motorola’s Rick Osterloh found himself rising to the role of President and COO. Osterloh stuck around as the Lenovo transition took shape, but last month we got word that he, too, was leaving Motorola. Today we learn of the next chapter in Osterloh’s career, as he heads back to Google, taking on a role as Senior Vice President for new hardware efforts.
More than serving as an exciting new opportunity for Osterloh, this news helps establish Google’s commitment to hardware going forward, and the division Osterloh will head up is one that will oversee the majority of Google’s commercial hardware projects.
That includes obvious things like Nexus devices, Chromebooks, and the Chromecast, but also things like the Project Ara-making Advanced Technology and Projects group, OnHub routers, and even Glass – whatever form that takes next.
Could Osterloh’s new appointment signal big Google hardware news just over the horizon – maybe at I/O this year? It’s possible, or this could just be the start of an effort that may still take some time before we start seeing tangible results. However it happens, Google’s making clear that it’s in the hardware game for the long term.