Brad Stone Profiles Sundar Pichai for Businessweek

Feel free to roll your eyes at the headline, “Google’s Sundar Pichai Is the Most Powerful Man in Mobile”, but there’s some interesting backstory in Stone’s piece, including this bit indicating that Larry Page effectively removed Andy Rubin from the Android team:

“There was nothing ever personal,” Pichai says, when asked whether he got along with Rubin. “We had a good sense of friendship, though we weren’t particularly close, but we never had any major disagreements. We had passionate debates about certain courses.” He allows that their styles differed. “Andy kept a lot about how he thought about things to himself. My sense is that at a base level, that is how he functioned. Andy had a plan and a strategy, but it was inside his own head.” Google declined to make Rubin available for comment, and Pichai says he doesn’t consult with him. […]

At the beginning of 2013, CEO Page told Rubin he had to integrate Android with the rest of Google. Rubin agreed at first, then changed his mind and decided he couldn’t do it. He resigned his position, though he remains at Google, working on a skunk works robotics project. A person close to Google’s management says that forcing Rubin’s hand was the most difficult decision Page has made since reclaiming the CEO spot at Google three years ago. Page then handed responsibility for Android over to Pichai.

Stone is a committed Church of Market Share believer:

By 2013, Android was winning the smartphone war but lagging in newer markets.

Android’s share of “smartphones” is impressive, but it strikes me as odd to say that Android is “winning the smartphone war” in a world where Apple makes an overwhelming majority of the profit in the industry.

Later in the piece, this sentence on smartwatches struck me as odd:

Google is racing against Apple, which will introduce its iWatch in the fall.

Just stated as fact, including the name “iWatch”.

Friday, 27 June 2014