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New Google CEO Sundar Pichai Makes First Major Executive Picks

The Android and ads businesses get two new SVPs.

Brian Ach | Getty Images

Sundar Pichai, Google’s new CEO under the company’s Alphabet restructuring, has made his first major wave of executive shuffles as chief executive, promoting three top lieutenants on the critical ads and Android units.

Neal Mohan, vice president of display and video advertising, now assumes that role as SVP. And Hiroshi Lockheimer, currently a VP on the Android team, is now SVP for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast.

Philipp Schindler, a seasoned ads VP who was part of the threesome replacing outgoing Google chief business officer Omid Kordestani, was also christened with a new title. He’s now SVP of Global Sales and Operations. Pichai gave a handful of Googlers promotions to VP titles, too.

Lockheimer has been at Google since 2006. He’s known as a congenial, skilled engineer and, more importantly, a trusted confidant for Pichai, who ran Android and Chrome before his appointment to lead all Google products in October 2014.

Since that reorg, Lockheimer has taken over more business responsibilities for Android, which is dealing with shrinking profits for its handset partners as well as the expansion onto new platforms like cars and wearables. Dave Burke, another Android VP, who showed off the company’s latest Nexus phones last week, has taken on more engineering leadership duties.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP, Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast
Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP, Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast

Mohan is another titan inside Google. He joined the search giant after it acquired his company DoubleClick and runs Google’s formidable display ads business. Over the years, he has become increasingly involved with its video and its YouTube business as well, and is a well-known, powerful player in the advertising industry.

Mohan’s also an in-demand exec in Silicon Valley. Twitter tried to poach him around four years ago, only to see Mohan lured back to Google with reportedly sizable packages. In June, Re/code reported that Mohan was considering departing for the lead product at Dropbox. A week later, we reported that was not the case — Mohan did not take the offer. At the time, a source familiar with the company said the decision did not involve any additional compensation.

Both Schindler and Mohan have tough jobs ahead. Google makes a bulk of its ad dollars from search, but its display and video businesses are still massive forces in the industry. Yet they are facing increasing competition from Facebook, Twitter (which has a new video ad product similar to YouTube) and other digital rivals.

Mohan will continue to report to Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP of ads and commerce.

Pichai sent out news of the promotions in a company-wide email.

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