It was back in August 2013 when rumours started circulating that Jean-Baptiste Quéru (affectionately known as JBQ in the Android community) would pull the pin on his job at Google working on the AOSP project.
At the time, there was an issue with Qualcomm providing documentation for their open source drivers, leading to delays in publishing factory images of the newly released Nexus 7 (2013). JBQ took to Google+ and stated (on August 4):
I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I don't want to be doing that job any more.
— Jean-Baptiste Queru (@jbqueru) August 5, 2013
Followed a few days later by this:
It was clear that JBQ was frustrated with the AOSP process and some of the third party contributors to it. Well, it seems that frustration was too much. JBQ is now working for Yahoo.
Just started a new job at @Yahoo. Great company, great people, great vision, I'm very excited.
— Jean-Baptiste Queru (@jbqueru) September 17, 2013
It seems some of the highest profile people in Yahoo are keen to make much of JBQ’s recruitment, including CEO Marissa Mayer and Chief Architect Amotz Maimon:
— marissamayer (@marissamayer) September 17, 2013
— Amotz Maimon (@AmotzM) September 17, 2013
AOSP (and Google)’s loss is Yahoo’s gain here, clearly. JBQ is just another in the line of a few high profile Android people leaving Google for greener pastures, including Andy Rubin in March of this year, and Hugo Barra in August. It seems quite likely, and I think Android Headlines hit the mark here, that with Android’s huge surge in success, the creativity allowed to their engineers is probably reduced a bit, and it’s a slightly less exciting or rewarding project to work on. Who knows.
I just hope JBQ’s departure doesn’t hurt Android, and that Google can work out whatever issues it has in retaining its high profile (and clearly hugely talented) Android staff.