Google poaches ex-Apple senior director, Amazon Kindle head for hardware focus shift

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Design executive David Foster, once a senior director at Apple, and most recently responsible for Amazon's Echo, Kindle, and Kindle Fire development has moved to Google, and will head up the search engine giant's smartphone push that is expected to start on Tuesday.

Foster spent six years at Apple between 1998 and 2004, as the "primary technical liaison" on the G4 and G5 towers, iMac and eMac families, the Xserve ecosystem, and specifically the iPod hard drive.

Following a brief stint at Gibson Guitar, Foster worked on Microsoft's Windows Phone, and with the Zune "cross-functional Group" from 2005 to 2011.

Foster started at Amazon in 2011 as vice president of hardware engineering, and was responsible for all hardware and technology development for Kindle and Kindle Fire product lines. Prior to his departure from Amazon, he oversaw the design team for all hardware devices for Amazon Lab126, including the Kindle, Kindle Fire, Echo, Fire TV, and Dash product lines.

Google is expected to launch a pair of smartphones on Tuesday, said to be called the "Google Pixel." Google does not manufacture its own hardware, and the initiative is said to be in conjunction with hardware partner HTC.

Other rumored announcements include the Google Home voice recognition-powered home assistant's pricing and availability, a 4k Chromecast, a Google-branded Wi-Fi router, and possibly a new computing platform similar to Chrome OS dubbed Google Andromeda.