Injong Rhee, a Samsung executive that played a key role in the development of Samsung Bixby, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Knox, is joining Google. The unconfirmed report comes from ZDNet, which says that Rhee will join Google as an entrepreneur-in-residence, focusing on “IoT projects.”
An entrepreneur-in-residence is a temporary and somewhat fluid roll, that typically attracts those looking to start a new business. It can, for example, allow the person to gain some form of relative experience at a company, while letting the company get first-look (and potentially first investment opportunity) in what the person is planning. That’s just one possibility, however.
Rhee left Samsung in December only a month after moving from head of Bixby to a role as Samsung’s Chief Technology Officer. Reports at the time said Rhee had left for personal reasons.
This isn’t the first employee Google has taken on from another Android manufacturer in recent times—the company completed the acquisition of thousands of HTC staff members just two weeks ago. Google has been focusing more on the hardware market in the past couple of years and now has speakers, headphones, smartphones and VR headsets under its belt. With this kind of investment in talent, I’d expect bigger, better and more varied products from Samsung in the near future.