Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android and Google’s vice president of mobile at Google, has stepped down as the head of the world’s most popular mobile operating system. Sundar Pichai will now lead Android, while continuing his role on Chrome and Apps.
In a blog post Google CEO Larry Page said Rubin’s “…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.
“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”.
Rubin co-founded Android in 2003 and moved to Google when it acquired the OS in 2005. He oversaw the growth of the platform from the first Android device, the T-Mobile G1, to what it is today, with over 750 million devices having been activated worldwide, making it the clear market leader in mobile.
Pichai’s appointment could pave the way for much closer links between Android and Chrome OS, if not the merging of the two into a single product, something that has been discussed and expected since Chrome OS was launched in 2010.