Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android, has been in charge of the Android team at Google since his company was bought by the search giant in 2005. Since then, Android has matured into the most used mobile operating system on the planet. Now Rubin is preparing to take on a new challenge.
Google CEO Larry Page announced today that Rubin would be stepping away from the Android team. As for his next move, Page says that Rubin will be starting a “new chapter” at Google. He doesn’t go into details on where Rubin is moving, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Rubin pop up at Google X Lab.
As for his replacement, Page says that Sundar Pichai will be taking charge of the Android team. You may know Pichai as senior vice president of Chrome and apps. Pichai will still manage Chrome while taking on his new duties as Android lead.
It’s going to be interesting to see what Pichai does with Android. Some of his work on Chrome might make its way into Android and vice versa. Both have a lot to gain from each other so it will be exciting to see what the future holds for both Android and Chrome.
Here’s the full statement from Larry Page:
Sergey and I first heard about Android back in 2004, when Andy Rubin came to visit us at Google. He believed that aligning standards around an open-source operating system would drive innovation across the mobile industry. Most people thought he was nuts. But his insight immediately struck a chord because at the time it was extremely painful developing services for mobile devices. We had a closet full of more than 100 phones and were building our software pretty much device by device. It was nearly impossible for us to make truly great mobile experiences.
Fast forward to today. The pace of innovation has never been greater, and Android is the most used mobile operating system in the world: we have a global partnership of over 60 manufacturers; more than 750 million devices have been activated globally; and 25 billion apps have now been downloaded from Google Play. Pretty extraordinary progress for a decade’s work. Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android—and with a really strong leadership team in place—Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google. Andy, more moonshots please!
Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps. Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use—and he loves a big bet. Take Chrome, for example. In 2008, people asked whether the world really needed another browser. Today Chrome has hundreds of millions of happy users and is growing fast thanks to its speed, simplicity and security. So while Andy’s a really hard act to follow, I know Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward.
Today we’re living in a new computing environment. People are really excited about technology and spending a lot of money on devices. This is driving faster adoption than we have ever seen before. The Nexus program—developed in conjunction with our partners Asus, HTC, LG and Samsung—has become a beacon of innovation for the industry, and services such as Google Now have the potential to really improve your life. We’re getting closer to a world where technology takes care of the hard work—discovery, organization, communication—so that you can get on with what makes you happiest… living and loving. It’s an exciting time to be at Google.