Google has just announced that Andy Rubin, chief of the search company’s Android mobile platform, is stepping down from his role, with Chrome and Apps Vice President Sundar Pichai taking his place. Rubin has been at the helm of Android since the company acquired it way back in 2005, and has helped it become one the most widely-used mobile OS in the world. Pichai will take the reigns at Android, but will also continue his role as VP of Chrome and Apps for the foreseeable future.
In a post over at the official Google blog page, CEO Larry Page was full of praise for both Rubin and his successor:
Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google. 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. . . Andy’s a really hard act to follow, [but] I know Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward.
In Pichai, Google already have a ready-made replacement, so Rubin’s departure should not disrupt the progress of Android in any way, shape or form. It would appear, having helped Android grow to such incredible heights, he simply feels his work is done, and as with many other successful executives, wants to set himself a fresh challenge. There may be other reasons, as there tends to be in these situations, and if this is indeed the case, we’ll surely learn the full story in the coming days as more details emerge from different sources.
Chrome and Apps have also been hugely successful outlets for Google, and considering how closely linked they are with Android in general, the Mountain View based company can only benefit from Pichai’s experience. Nevertheless, Rubin has been a fantastic leader, and his decision to step down will definitely see some slight waves of change in the weeks to come, unless they have a solid plan laid down.
It’s not the first time in recent memory that one of the biggest names within a top tech company has moved on to pastures new. In fact, iOS Vice President Scott Forstall left Apple towards the end of last year, closely followed by the departure of Windows chief Steven Sinofsky over at Microsoft.
As we said before, it would be fairly interesting to see where Android goes after this huge move. Stay tuned for more coverage here at Redmond Pie as the story unfolds even further.