Google today announced that Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, is stepping down from his position as head of Android to pursue another role at the company. His role will be filled by Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome and Apps. It wasn’t specified what role Rubin will pursue next at Google.
“Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps,” says CEO Larry Page, in the blog post written by him. “Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use — and he loves a big bet.”
Also, Page revealed that Google has now seen more than 750 million Android devices activated worldwide, up from the last reported figure of 500 million activations in September 2012.
The Wall Street Journal, after the news broke today of Rubin’s departure, published a farewell email from Rubin to the company’s Android partners.
In November of 2007 we announced the Open Handset Alliance with 34 founding members. Today, I’m grateful to the over 85 OHA members who have helped us build Android and drive innovation at such an incredible pace. The Android ecosystem has seen tremendous growth since the launch of the very first Android device in October 2008. The volume and variety of Android devices exceeds even my most optimistic expectations – over 750 million compatible devices and counting!
At its core, Android has always been about openness – the idea that a thousand brains are better than one. Just as the ecosystem has grown, so has our team at Google. I am incredibly proud of the phenomenal group of people that spend their days (and nights) building the Android platform and services. Just look at last year…a lean yet incredibly ambitious team released Jellybean with Google Now, launched Google Play in many languages and countries and collaborated with several partners to build three new Nexus devices to help drive innovation in the ecosystem.
Today, the success of Android combined with the strength of our management team, gives me the confidence to step away from Android and hand over the reins. Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps. Hiroshi Lockheimer – who many of you already know well – plus the rest of the Android leadership team will work closely with all of our partners to advance Android and prepare the platform for new products and services yet to be imagined.
As for me, I am an entrepreneur at heart and now is the right time for me to start a new chapter within Google. I am amazed by what we have accomplished from those early days (not so long ago!), and remain passionate about the power of a simple idea and a shared goal – an open source platform freely available to everyone – to transform computing for people everywhere.
Thank you for your support,
We’ve reached out to Google for additional information.