Google Pixel’s camera guru left the company amidst rumors of delayed Pixel 4a launch

Google Pixel’s camera guru has left the search giant raising concerns about the future of computational photography experience. Marc Levoy, who joined Google in July 2014 as a “Distinguished Engineer” is no longer working with the Pixel team. He led the team behind revolutionary mobile photography experience. He “developed computational photography technologies for Pixel smartphones, including HDR+, Portrait Mode, and Night Sight.”

If you don’t remember Marc Levoy then you will be forgiven. However, he was one of the presenters at the Made by Google 2019 event. He spoke about the new camera experience on Pixel 4 series and decision to not include ultra wide-angle cameras. According to The Information, Levoy ended his five-year tenure at the company in March 2020. The information can be confirmed via the LinkedIn profile of Levoy, which shows him as Emeritus Professor at Stanford and former Distinguished Engineer at Google.

Google Pixel sees camera guru exit

Levoy is not the only major executive on the Pixel team who has left in the recent year. The report notes that longtime Pixel phone manager Mario Queiroz has also left his position. He is no longer at Google and the team has also lost its head camera engineer. The report does not shed light on why these executives left the team. However, there is a juicy bit which claims that SVP Rich Osterloh had critical thoughts about the Pixel 4 before it launched.

“He [Osterloh] told them he did not agree with some of the decisions made about the phone, according to two people who were present at the meeting. In particular, he was disappointed in its battery power,” The Information notes in its report.

One of the reasons behind this exit could be the decline in sales of Pixel smartphones around the globe. According to IDC, Google sold fewer Pixel 4 units than the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a models. While the Pixel 3a has done wonders for Google’s hardware division, the numbers are too small against its rivals. The search giant is expected to launch the Pixel 4a next month, a month later than last year’s model. It needs to be seen whether the camera stays on top in the mid-range price segment.


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