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Google unifies messenger teams, plans “more coherent vision”

Enlarge / Someone fix this.

Unity is coming to Google’s messaging strategy—again. A report from The Verge details a shakeup in Google’s messaging leadership that will see Javier Soltero, the VP and GM of G Suite, take charge of all of Google’s messaging apps in a single “unified team.”

A Google statement says Soltero will be in charge of “all of Google’s collective communication products,” which presumably means Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Messages, Google Duo, and Google Voice. Oddly, the report also lists “Android phone app” as one of Soltero’s new responsibilities. Here’s Google’s full statement.

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.

Soltero only joined Google in October of last year. Previously, he created the Acompli email app, which Microsoft acquired in 2014 and turned into the Outlook mobile app. After speaking to Soltero, The Verge comes away with what seems to be conflicting statements on the future of Google’s messaging apps. On one hand, the report says Google has “no immediate plans to change or integrate any of Google’s apps,” but when speaking of Google’s consumer messaging apps, it also quotes Soltero as saying, “The plan continues to be to modernize all of that towards Google Meet and Google Chat.”

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