Google's strategy around messaging and communication applications is in a constant state of flux, an issue that has only been made worse by the isolated teams working on Duo, Hangouts Chat/Meet, and other products. While the numerous messaging applications might not be going away anytime soon, the teams behind them are finally operating under one roof.
Javier Soltero, who was already serving as the Vice President and General manager of G Suite, has now also been put in charge of Messages, Duo, and the phone app on Android. In other words, Soltero is now leading the teams for every one of Google's communication platforms.
Javier Soltero told The Verge that there are no immediate plans to integrate or change any existing products, saying, "We believe people make choices around the products that they use for specific purposes." However, he has already switched up product branding — the Hangouts name was finally retired from the company's business communication tools earlier this year.
Google provided the following official statement about the leadership change:
We are bringing all of Google’s collective communication products together under one leader and unified team that will be led by Javier Soltero, VP and GM of G Suite. Javier will remain in Cloud, but will also join the leadership team under Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Platforms and Ecosystems. Outside of this update, there are no other changes to the personnel and Hiroshi will continue to play a significant role in our ongoing partnership efforts.
It would definitely be great to see Google finally fix its messaging platforms, but it will likely be several months/years until the new team's long-term goals are realized.
- The Verge