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Here comes the VP of all the things: Sundar Pichai, who has been overseeing Chrome, Android and Google apps, got promoted to also oversee Google Research, Google+, Google Maps, search, commerce, ads and infrastructure, according to a report from Recode. Google informed employees about the move with a memo sent out Friday afternoon.
This puts Pichai in charge of virtually all key areas of Google’s business these days, with search still being the big money-maker for the company. Executives who had been leading these entities will remain in place, but now report to Pichai, according to Recode. Google later confirmed the accuracy of the report but declined to comment further.
The move is a big consolidation of power within Google, and a vote of confidence for Pichai, who made his name leading Chrome, and then took over Android when Andy Rubin shifted to a different role within the company in early 2013. There have been reports in the past that both Twitter and Microsoft tried to tap Pichai for executive positions, but he remained loyal to Google — and CEO Larry Page — ever since joining the company ten years ago.
The reorganization could be seen as a way to unify Google’s business across its different units, something the company has struggled with in the past. Google has a reputation for duplicating the same products services across different entities, but Pichai can be credited with pushing a strategy of unified experiences across both Android and Chrome — and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to enforce this in his new areas of responsibility as well.