Google is building a hardware division. That's according to a report from Re/code, which says that Google is forming a new division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm.
Motorola was the old "Google hardware division" that Google decided it didn't want. Osterloh originally joined Google via the company's Motorola purchase in 2011 and was named CEO of Motorola after Dennis Woodside left. Google sold Motorola to Lenovo in 2014, and Osterloh left Motorola last month after some Lenovo "reorganization" at Motorola. Google has now snapped him up. Osterloh becomes a senior vice president at Google, which puts the hardware group on equal footing with Android, Ads, Search, and YouTube.
According to the report, the Google Hardware Division will absorb most of the hardware projects inside Google. There's the good stuff from the Chrome/Android division like Nexus devices, Chromecasts, and Chromebooks, along with Google and Alphabet's struggling hardware projects that haven't had much of a home—OnHub, ATAP (the Advanced Technology and Projects group), and Google Glass. OnHub was born in Alphabet's "Access" division that also houses Google Fiber. OnHub is a router that promises to someday become a smart home device, but so far it hasn't materialized. ATAP has yet to ship an actual piece of hardware and recently had its leader—former DARPA head Regina Dugan—leave for Facebook. Google Glass failed rather spectacularly in the public and later become a forgotten-about group under Tony Fadell's leadership, but not part of Nest. Re/code notes that there's also apparently a new "living room" group in the hardware division.
Now it's Osterloh's responsibility to keep the good stuff going and fix the products that haven't been working out. Will struggling projects like Google Glass and Project Ara get killed? Previous reports from The Information have said that Google plans to take "Apple-like" control over the Nexus devices—is this part of that plan? First up for the new division will be a pair of new Nexus devices.