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Andy Rubin Pens Letter to Android Partners, “Right Time” to Start New Chapter With Google

andy rubin

Larry Page announcing that Andy Rubin has stepped away from the Android team is clearly the news of the day. After all, this is the man that helped start it all, right? Without Andy Rubin, there is a pretty good chance that Droid Life wouldn’t even exist. The phone in your pocket might not either.

But why is he leaving? The letter this morning provided little details, however, a letter that Rubin penned himself and then delivered to Open Handset Alliance (OHA) members, tackles a few additional details. 

Rubin openly states that he has enough confidence in the “strength of the management” to step away and hand over the reins. The Android team will continue to work closely with partners as they prepare new products and services “yet to be imagined.”

He also mentioned that he is an “entrepreneur at heart” and that “now is the right time” to “start a new chapter within Google.” We don’t know exactly what that chapter will entail, but at least he’s sticking with Google to hopefully create another amazing…thing.

Good luck, Andy.

Dear friends,

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,

– andy

Via:  Wall Street Journal

Image via Flickr

  • June Abreu

    Makes perfect sense, no need to restrain your innovator.

  • kidheated

    This does seem like the 1st big step in transitioning from Android to Chrome OS. It would be good too, for everybody. With the elimination of the word “Android” from the name, it may even make things a bit cheaper for the consumer as we will not have to pay George Lucas the added royalty fee for using his word.

    • CapnShiner

      You mean pay Disney and that would have an insignificant impact on the cost because LucasFilm does not have a trademark on the word Android. The trademarked word is Droid and it is licensed by Verizon, not Google. The few devices with Droid branding would be the only ones affected and the licensing cost is a drop in the bucket compared to all the other costs involved. Verizon would likely not lower the price on the devices at all, they would just have a slightly bigger profit margin.

      • kidheated

        Thanks. Good to know.

  • What’s “Google X?” Sorry…

    • j

      “Secret” facility that works on future technologies. They are reportedly responsible for the self driving cars, google glass, and some other cool ish

    • PhoenixPath

      It’s a secret strain of a Virus Google is developing that promises to lengthen and enhance the human life-cycle.

      What could possibly go wrong?

  • Thanks, bro. We’ll miss you. {{-_-}}

  • fantom007

    Thanks Andy for your inspiration, dedication, and perspiration, in making your dreams our dreams, and allowing so many a new medium in which to unite! Best of luck, and success in your new endeavors! We hope to see more amazing innovations from you.

  • Pedro

    Hmm. Every time I’ve seen someone assigned to a ‘special’ project, it’s the HR step to being canned.

    I’d love to see Google break this tradition.

  • akazerotime

    We all know he is really moving in with Tato. I hope he makes a cameo appearance tonight during the droid life show. Reminder that’s at 9PM in the east, 6PM in the west.

  • nb

    google x google x, what are you all rambling about. He said HE’S AN ENTREPRENEUR, he’s not off to google x, he’s off to do something COMPLETELY NEW and unique to google. What will be? I don’t know, not google x though.

    • hashtagtroll


  • humidity

    He’s off to Google X.

  • Shane Redman

    He’s going to work on converting Glass into a contact lens

    • Austin Warren

      That would never work, and be highly uncomfortable.

      • Fatty Bunter

        That absolutely will work, and will be the future. They already have contacts that are used to transmit data from glaucoma sensors. Obviously they’re going to be just as thin as current contacts or no one is going to buy them.

        • Austin Warren

          Still don’t see it happening.

          • Fatty Bunter

            Are you knowledgeable in a related field like MEMS or flexible circuits? If so, what makes you say that? If not, then you just don’t know enough to make a good assessment.

          • Cowboydroid

            Because you have no vision. Thank God you don’t work at Google.

          • Austin Warren

            Ding! And you win the stupidest comment ever award.

          • Guest

            I see what you did there.

          • CapnShiner

            @Cowboydroid: I see what you did there.

        • kidheated

          You are indeed correct. I recall reading an article Ubergizmo about the creation of a paper-thin DSLR lens. It is still very prototype but very interesting stuff. Contacts are inevitably the next step. I have never found contacts to be all that comfortable, but I would definitely get used to them for that.


        • Mack

          Absolutely. I work in the Optical field and most people don’t realize how far technology has advanced when it comes to our eyes. Contact and implant lenses are continually advancing.

      • nsnsmj

        A while back, around when Google announced Glass, I remember reading that they were already working on contact lens prototypes, or that they’ve been working on shrinking things down to fit one.

      • michael arazan

        Google already applied for a patent for a contact lens device

    • gp126904
  • Gfunk81


  • nightscout13

    I’m curious what his new role will be. Why are they concealing that from the public?

    • possomcrast

      Something higher up, probably.

    • Justin Winker

      My bet: Something to do with the Google X Lab. Especially with how well he’s done with Android.

    • vitriolix