January 16, 2024 – Google has recently announced an internal reorganization affecting its Devices & Services team, which oversees hardware efforts for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit.
Previously, the Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit divisions operated as separate entities within Google, with distinct teams handling design, hardware engineering, software, and user interface aspects. However, with this latest restructuring, Google is shifting to a functional organizational model, consolidating the hardware engineering responsibilities for all three brands under a unified leadership.
As part of this shake-up, Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman, along with other key Fitbit executives, are departing from Google. Google acquired Fitbit in January 2021, and Park had remained on as Vice President and General Manager, overseeing the launch of the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2. His last public appearance was in October of the previous year.
Additionally, it has been reported that the reorganization will result in the layoff of several hundred employees within the Devices & Services division. Notably, most of these layoffs are concentrated in the first-party augmented reality (AR) hardware team. This move signals a shift in Google’s strategy, as the tech giant appears to be abandoning its in-house development of AR hardware in favor of a focus on OEM partnerships. Affected employees will have the opportunity to apply for open positions within the company, and Google has pledged to provide support throughout the transition.