Google hires former Samsung CTO as IoT lead

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By Sooraj Shah

Google has hired Injong Rhee, former Samsung CTO and head of R&D for software and services, to lead its Internet of Things (IoT) practice.

In a LinkedIn post, Rhee, told his connections that he had left Samsung in December, and that his next role would be at Google as an “entrepreneur in residence”, leading the IoT business.

He will report to Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud, and board member of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

“IoT is a new and exciting space with tremendous potential to transform how we use and deploy technology in our everyday lives,” he said.

Google and Alphabet have released a number of IoT-related products in recent years. For example, in 2016 they launched Android Things, an IoT platform for developers, and in May 2017 added Cloud IoT Core, a managed IoT service.

Rhee said that one of his priorities would be to, “get these efforts coordinated and aligned toward a concerted IoT story of Google”, and in the process, “create distinct consumer and enterprise product lines”.

“With support from Diane and the other members of the leadership team, I hope to grow Google IoT into a sustainable and profitable business line. No journey of this size is possible alone. I seek your continued support and encouragement as I start this new adventure,” he said.

Rhee joined Samsung back in July 2011 as senior VP of enterprise business. He stayed in the role, which was based in Seoul, South Korea, for four years before moving to Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, to take up the role of executive VP, enterprise business and mCommerce. He was promoted to CTO in December 2015.

Google’s new IoT supremo has moved to Mountain View, California, to take up his new position. On his LinkedIn profile, he says that he is “working on revolutionising IoT” at Google.

Internet of Business
For a data-centric business, the implication that Google lacks a concerted, sustainable, coordinated, and profitable IoT strategy is intriguing – but that may be reading too much into Rhee’s opening statements. That Google sees strength in his mobile credentials is clear. We wish him luck.