Rubin steps down from Android

Andy Rubin, formerly Google’s senior VP of mobile and digital content

Co-founder and architect  of the Android platform Andy Rubin has stepped down from his role as Google’s senior VP of mobile and digital content. Rubin will remain at Google, where he will “start a new chapter”, according to the firm’s CEO.

Sundar Pichai, SVP for Chrome and Apps at Google, will now lead Android, which he will do in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Google Apps.

“[Rubin] believed that aligning standards around an open-source operating system would drive innovation across the mobile industry,” said Google CEO Larry Page in a blog. “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.”

Page added that today, Android is the most used mobile operating system in the world. He said Google has 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,” he added.

Page added that Rubin’s replacement Pichai has a talent for creating products that are “technically excellent yet easy to use” — and that 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,” said Page.

One comment

  1. Avatar Jay Hinman 14/03/2013 @ 5:58 pm

    Rubin was a driving, creative force in digital content, and we wish him the best of luck. The flexible, open and extendible nature of the Android platform allowed Skyfire, my company, to create our mobile browser extension platform Skyfire Horizon. It has been a terrific sandbox for innovation, and hopefully will continue to be.

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