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Google's head of Android to oversee its most important products

By promoting one of his most trusted lieutenants, Google CEO Larry Page can spend more time focusing on the future.

Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android and Chrome, will now oversee other product areas as well, including search and maps. James Martin/CNET

Google's most powerful product chief just got more powerful.

Sundar Pichai, a well-respected executive who oversees some of the company's most important businesses, has been elevated to take on even more of Google's core products, the company confirmed to CNET.

Pichai already runs Android, the most widely used mobile operating system in the world; Google's Web-based software Chrome; and the company's suite of apps, including Gmail and Docs. Under the reorganization, he will additionally have oversight over research, search, maps, the Google+ social network, ads and infrastructure, according to Recode, which earlier reported the news.

The promotion punctuates Pichai's quick rise inside the company as well as CEO Larry Page's desire to off-load some of his management duties to better focus on overall business strategy. While Google's search and advertising business still generates $50 billion a year in revenue, some financial analysts fear its business is slowing. The company last week reported that paid clicks for the third quarter rose 17 percent from the same period last year. That compares with 26 percent growth the year before.

While Pichai is taking on those new responsibilities, Page will continue to directly oversee a number of Google's divisions, including the YouTube online video service run by veteran Google employee Susan Wojcicki. Page will also manage business and operations.

Pichai, a well-liked figure at the company, has been a magnet for Google's product teams. He has been at the company since 2004, managing the Chrome department. He added Google Apps to his responsibilities in 2012 and Android in 2013.

Pichai was the clear star of Google's I/O developer conference in June -- serving as the keynote's master of ceremonies as Google showed off its latest developments in Android and Chrome.

Though Google confirmed the staff change to CNET, it declined to comment further or disclose his compensation.