Google's Vice President of Product Development David Foster has left the company, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View-based tech giant confirmed in a statement provided to Bloomberg on Thursday. The firm's representative declined to make further comments on the matter to clarify the situation and the reasons behind Foster's departure from Google are still unclear. The Alphabet-owned Internet giant poached Foster from Amazon last October in a move that some interpreted as a major statement of intent regarding the company's consumer electronics-oriented plans, which is why this loss will likely be a major blow to Google's hardware ambitions.
Foster previously oversaw development of a number of Amazon-made consumer electronics including the Alexa-infused Echo speakers and various Kindle tablets. Following a highly successful stint with Amazon that lasted almost six years, Foster was hired to join the key executives of Google's growing hardware division that recently made its first major push into the market with the launch of the Google Home, Google Pixel, and the Pixel XL. Industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that Foster's departure might affect the development of the upcoming successors to Google's first Pixel smartphones that are expected to be launched this fall. Recent reports indicated that the Mountain View-based company is currently working on three new Pixel handsets and their development was directly helmed by Foster. Given the latest turn of events, it's possible that Foster's former boss, Google's Senior Vice President of Hardware Rick Osterloh will assume the duties of the now-departed executive until the Alphabet-owned firm manages to find a suitable replacement.
Having only joined the company seven months ago, Foster's departure from Google wasn't expected, and it remains to be seen how long the Silicon Valley giant will take to clarify the situation. Likewise, the well-known tech industry executive has yet to issue a comment on the matter. Several industry analysts recently stated that hardware will likely become one Google's main revenue generators in the coming years, meaning that any current setback might have long-reaching consequences for the company's ambitions that haven't started materializing until recently. An update on the situation will likely follow in the coming days.