Larry Page makes Sundar Pichai product head of Google

The Re/Code team revealed last Friday that Google CEO, Larry Page, has effectively made Sundar Pichai head of core products.

Pichai has been leading Android, Chrome and Google Apps, and now takes on the lead for research, search, maps, Google+, commerce and ad products and infrastructure.

Page will be stepping back from management of the core products, and will have direct control of Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, legal, finance, business (including ad sales), and access and energy (the company’s development effort for Internet access to homes and business, and energy systems).

Page has apparently told associates that he wants to step back and take a bigger picture view. It appears to me that he is moving Pichai one step away from eventually becoming CEO. However, sources told Re/Code that this isn’t the intention. We’ll see about that.

Pichai has been running Android, Chrome, and Google Apps businesses, which have the biggest enterprise implications for Google. I wonder if this reorganization has implications for those units and their products.

Larry Page has said that Android is the future of the company, not search ads. It is the most widely used operating system in the world, but it doesn’t run on desktops. I have stated in the past that I anticipate Google rolling out a next generation Android on desktops, which would bring the company even more into competition with Microsoft. Note that Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of engineering for Android is now heading up engineering of the Chrome OS, as well.

With the increasing sophistication displayed by Android L, and the huge ecosystem of developers now building Android apps, Google is well-positioned to go after more enterprise share.

That sounds like an impending convergence along the lines of what we’ve seen with Apple’s iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite operating systems versions. It may not be a complete colonization, but obviously getting Android apps to work on Chrome could be huge.

Relative to the enterprise, what Google hasn’t built is an equivalent to Yammer (Google+) or the recent Microsoft Groups, now present in Office 365 and OneDrive (see Microsoft rolling out Groups in Office 365: the end of Yammer?). Yes, the company has Google+, but hasn’t rolled out a pure enterprise version. And my endless requests for a true Groups-like activity stream in Google Drive have gone unheeded, at least so far.


  1. Pichai will become the CEO sometime in 2015 or 2016.
  2. Chrome will run Android apps by mid 2015.
  3. Google will roll out a nature activity stream for Drive in 2015, one that is not based on Google+