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Andy Rubin Steps Away From Android Team, Sundar Pichai to Take Charge

andy rubin

This morning, Google’s CEO Larry Page, announced that Andy Rubin will no longer lead the Android team. Andy has been the head of the Android project since the beginning and has watched as it has grown to running on more than 750 million devices worldwide. Taking the lead on the project going forward is Google vet, Sundar Pichai, who currently leads Chrome as well. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Page did not got into detail as to why exactly Rubin is leaving the team, but did mention that he is going to start a new chapter at Google. At least we know this is not a bad split or anything of that nature. This could be Rubin saying he has basically created the world’s most popular mobile OS and it’s time to conquer something else. We shall see.

Below is the full post 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.

Posted by Larry Page, CEO

Via: Google

  • “Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward.”

    And on March 13th, 2013, Android’s fate was sealed. RIP Android, I knew thee well.

  • boballistic

    That’s like rick grimes leaving and being replaced by shane.

  • enigmaco

    That’s going to be one busy guy

  • ceejw

    As long at Matias Duarte stays where he’s at I’m not too worried about this leadership change.

    • EC8CH

      yes, pay that man whatever it takes.

      • jeesung

        can we pay him to bring back the Tablet UI?

        stupidest decision ever to do top & bottom space waster bars when the single lower bar was working AOK.

        • Working is definitely the word I would use, not ideal. The “new” way may waste some space (though there are definitely way to put it to good use), but at least it is the same across all screens now. Apple has shown how powerful a unified user experience across various devices can be.

          • jeesung

            yes. powerful enough to have their sales slow and their share price drop by 1/3 over the last 6 months 😉

            it may not have been “ideal” but was significantly better than this big phone UI on a tablet experience. “working” is what I’d call the current UI on tablets.

  • discstu37

    Doubling down ‘… Lol! Not on security, right!

  • will bartlett

    How did I know you would post this article, Tim? 😛

  • poorboy168

    Not sure I’m looking forward to a Halo type Nexus that will cost $1299.

  • andrew galvin

    i have heard he was really hard to work for and stubborn. Maybe this will be good for shaking things up at android.

    • Droidzilla

      Sometimes you need that in a leader.

  • paul_cus

    Job well done, Mr. Rubin.

  • MichaelFranz

    I dont know how i feel about this. I mean you here the name Andy Rubin you think Android from the ground up. To have someone else take over, while it can always be a good thing, just sounds weird to me.

  • HotRodJohnson

    Let him run Motorola and let’s get some great hardware.

    • Droidzilla

      They already have an ex-Google guy running Motorola. You can’t turn a freight ship around that fast; we’re going to have to go through some of what Moto had in the pipe when the takeover was completed before we start to see the Google influence on their hardware lineup (though we’re seeing it already in the software lineup).

      • I’d say the device leaked today is pretty Google-y. And its a straight shot at the iPhone to boot: Small form factor, (hopefully) fantastic screen, recent (but not current top-end) specs, and the software flies. Price it at $249 through Google Play, and they won’t be able to keep them in stock.

  • ChromeOS -> Android in 3…2…

    We all knew this day would come!

  • Stephen Clagett

    Looks like that Chrome Android statue was quite the foreshadowing. This could be HUGE for Google if they can seamlessly merge chrome & Android.

  • zurginator

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Andy is moving over to lead Glass.

    Definitely see Chrome and Android merging within 5 years, but I do think it will take a while for them to figure out how they are going to do it exactly.

  • Who’s in charge of google glass?…maybe andy is moving over there

  • zepfloyd

    Curious what Andy will be doing now… maybe something at Motorola?

  • Dain Laguna

    interested in seeing where this goes

  • Austin Warren

    Here’s the merge of Chrome and Android!

    • Justin Winker

      I was thinking the same thing… The head of Chrome takes over Android, it’s the only logical option.

      • Austin Warren

        Yeah, now I can justify the price of a Chromebook Pixel if in fact, they do merge.

    • mikeparv

      Unification across all Google’s services leading to a more refined and polished Google Experience. Hopes that Google will continue innovation and do what it did with Google Fiber and start Google Mobile (cellphone service) and their Nexus line leading to a new way of portable communication.

      • Austin Warren

        Google Fiber and Cellular will take a while. I wish it wouldn’t but it’s just too expensive that they can’t even afford it.

        • michael arazan

          Dish/ Google said a month ago to still be on tract for the opening of the carrier by the end if 2013 at 9to5google.com Hopefully it will have more than One market like Fiber is

    • DieGrammatikNazi

      A digital frontier to reshape the human condition…

      • Droidzilla

        In there . . . is our destiny!

        • DieGrammatikNazi

          Bio-digitial jazz, man.

          • Droidzilla

            Well that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

          • ArrowCool

            You’re out of your element.

          • Droidzilla

            Do you see what happens? Do you SEE what happens, Larry?

          • carluverdrm2004

            Those are great 6 comments right here.

    • Merge? There’s nothing that Chrome does that Android doesn’t.. I don’t even understand what the point of Chrome is… Just install android and call it done.

      • Austin Warren

        you’re missing the entire point.

  • Wow, this is going to be interesting..

  • randompsychology

    I had a feeling this day would arrive eventually. Guess that day is today.

    But, that’s ok. Android is mature enough and has great folks on board the team that they don’t specifically *need* Andy anymore. And I have the utmost respect for Sundar. It’s pretty widely speculated that eventually Android and Chrome OS will converge in some way.

    If I had to guess, I’d bet Andy is going to work on other super-secret projects that will change our lives in some other awesome way…

    • sc4fpse

      Android doesn’t need Andy anymore?


    • EC8CH

      and then Sundar Pichai is all like… “I’m your Huckleberry”

      • EC8CH

        1 person is no daisey

        • Droidzilla

          Andy has two operating systems; one for each of ya.

          • EC8CH

            Recipe for most epic end credits in history:

            1 Start a house on Fire

            2 Have 3 bad MFers and Bill Paxton walk down the street

            3 Cue orchestra to begin playing “March of the Badasses in E Major”


  • So, Android Chromebooks at I/O?