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Google hires Amazon's hardware chief to run new smartphone line

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Google's hardware division has hired Amazon's David Foster as VP of product engineering, according to a report from The Information that says he'll lead future development on the company's new range of smartphones. Google is set to unveil its first branded phones, widely expected to be called the Pixel and Pixel XL, alongside other hardware at a major event in about 12 hours' time.

Foster has quite the resume, according to his LinkedIn profile: he was a senior director at Apple from 1998 to 2004, spent a year at the Gibson guitar company as CTO, then moved onto Microsoft as a general manager for hardware. He left for Amazon's Lab126 in early 2011, leading development on the Kindle and Kindle Fire lines; as VP of hardware engineering he was also responsible for all of Lab126's teams working on other products like the Echo and Fire TV.

Foster will report to Rick Osterloh, the ex-Motorola president leading a new hardware division at Google.