"The Google relationship has gotten stronger over the last two years," Samsung chief product officer Kevin Packingham told the Wall Street Journal's Jessica Lessin in an on-stage interview at Business Insider's IGNITION Mobile conference in San Francisco Thursday afternoon.
As reports surfaced that Google was worried about Samsung's dominant share of Android smartphones, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Andy Rubin, the longtime leader of the Android group at Google, would be replaced by another executive, Sundar Pichai.
Packingham credited Rubin with having the vision to create Android and drive its adoption.
But once Rubin took a position, Packingham said, " You weren't going to get him to deviate from that position."
Packingham praised Pichai, Rubin's replacement as head of the Android project. Pichai, previously responsible for the Chrome Web browser and Google Apps, is adding responsibility for Android.
"Sundar's a super-nice person," Packingham said. "He's very collaborative."
"The Google relationship is super-important," Packingham said, because the companies had to convince consumers to try not just a Samsung-branded phone but a Google-powered operating system.
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