The head of Google’s smartphone group has moved into Sundar Pichai’s ‘Office of the CEO’ just months before the expected launch of the Pixel 4

Mario Queiroz

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Mario Queiroz
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Google

  • The executive in charge of Google’s Pixel smartphone division – Mario Queiroz – is moving to another role, working in “the office of the CEO”.
  • Queiroz’s move to work alongside Google CEO Sundar Pichai comes at a surprising time, as the highly anticipated Pixel 4 is expected to launch this fall.
  • Queiroz, who joined Google in 2005, has been involved in Google’s hardware efforts for years.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Just months ahead of the expected launch of its fourth-generation device, the person in charge of Google’s Pixel smartphone division – Mario Queiroz – is reportedly leaving for another role internally at the tech giant.

The news came from an Axios report Thursday which said Queiroz – Pixel’s top boss, who reported directly to Hardware VP Rick Osterloh – would be leaving his current post to “work in the office of CEO Sundar Pichai.” Queiroz’s LinkedIn profile has been updated as of Thursday morning to indicate that he indeed would be working in the “Office of the CEO,” but what exactly that means remains unclear. His official title on LinkedIn remains Vice President of Product Management.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the reports of Queiroz’s internal move with Business Insider, but would not specify further about his new role. The spokesperson said that in his absence, Osterloh will take on leading the day-to-day operations on the Pixel team.

Queiroz, a Google veteran, has been involved in the company’s hardware efforts for years, spearheading earlier projects like Google TV and the Chromecast streaming media products. According to Axios, Queiroz had been involved in Google’s smartphone efforts since the very first Android phone was released over a decade ago.

The move comes at a surprising time, as the highly anticipated Pixel 4 – which has been confirmed by the company and will come preloaded with futuristic features, like hand wave swiping – is expected to launch this fall.

Read more: Google’s Pixel 4 is expected to be a major change from past Pixel phones. Here are the most credible rumors we’ve heard about it so far.

It also comes as the Pixel division appears to be picking up steam. On the heels of launching a more affordable lineup of devices – the Pixel 3a and 3a XL – in May, Google announced that overall unit sales had doubled in the second quarter of 2019 from the same period the year before.