Android chief Dave Burke to step back from role

Dublin-born executive is piciting to AI and bio projects

Google’s head of Android engineering Dave Burke is stepping back from his role. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google executive Dave Burke is stepping down from his role as head of Android with the tech giant, as he switches his attention to AI and bio projects,

The Dubliner, who has led the Android team for 14 years, said he was exploring relevant roles in Google’s parent company Alphabet with chief executive Sundar Pichai.

In a post on LinkedIn, Mr Burke said he would step away from leading Android Engineering and shift into an advisory position.

“AI has the potential to play a pivotal role in accelerating drug discovery, with wide applicability, including in hard-to-treat paediatric cancers, a topic close to my heart,” he said.

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Among the Android developments that have been ushered in under Mr Burke’s tenure were speech interfaces for search, dictation, and assistance in Android, Chrome for mobile, computational photography, on-device AI and a range of devices under the Nexus and Pixel range.

Mr Burke joined Google UK in 2007 as engineering manager and spent four years there before moving to the US as director of engineering. He was named vice-president of engineering in late 2014.

“I stayed so long because of our incredible impact – building the future of computing at planet scale,” he said.

The UCD graduate has a background in electronic engineering and a PhD in the mathematical modelling of brain electrical activity.

Before joining Google, he created voice analysis and recognition firm Voxpilot, where he served as chief technology officer.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist