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Google reportedly disappointed with Pixel 4, major staff members quit team

One of the team members who left is Marc Levoy, who is largely responsible for the Pixel cameras.

Published onMay 13, 2020

google pixel 4 xl oh so orange camera module

A new report from The Information gives us a rare behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on with the Google Pixel division. According to the report, key Google players such as Rick Osterloh were disappointed with the company’s latest flagship, the Google Pixel 4. Even before the phone launched, internal excitement over the device was apparently low.

Osterloh allegedly was disappointed with the small batteries in the phone, among other design and spec decisions. He expressed these misgivings during an all-hands meeting prior to the launch of the phones in October last year.

Estimates show that the Pixel 4 is not selling well, even when compared to the previous Pixel 3 line. This, combined with the lack of enthusiasm for the device from leadership, has apparently led to two major players on the Pixel team exiting quietly months ago.

Two key Google Pixel leads have left

The first departed employee was Google Pixel general manager Mario Queiroz who had been with Google since 2005. He led the Pixel division from the beginning and was part of the launch of Google’s very first Android device, the Nexus One, in 2010.

The second employee who has left is Marc Levoy, who was largely responsible for the Pixel cameras. An expert in computational photography, Levoy is a big reason why Pixel cameras are so highly regarded. Levoy left Google in March with no announcement.

Related: Behind the scenes: Google’s Pixel cameras aren’t trying to be cameras at all

The next phone in the Pixel line will be the Google Pixel 4a, which was originally supposed to launch this week. However, all signs now point to that phone landing in early June.

It is unclear how this shake-up of the Pixel team, as well as the Pixel 4’s apparent lack of success, will affect that phone as well as the expected Google Pixel 5. However, it seems readily apparent that the Pixel team isn’t doing so hot at the moment.

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