Android founder resigns as bossMarch 15 - 8am
Android creator Andy Rubin has resigned from his role as the head of the Android team at Google, with Chrome chief Sundar Pichai taking over the reigns.
On the eve of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch, scheduled in New Zealand from 12pm today, Rubin will take another role within the search company which has not yet been revealed.
After first hearing about Android back in 2004, when Rubin came to visit Google HQ, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page announced the news on it’s official blog, praising Rubin’s work within the company.
“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,” Page says.
“Fast forward to today and 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.”
After initially building software virtually from device to device, Google’s small army of over 100 phones nearly ten years ago represents a significant shift to it’s armory today.
Following a public dissing of Android from Apple yesterday, Page credits Rubin with changing Google’s mobile user experience, despite revealing the initial reaction he received to such ideas.
“Most people thought he was nuts,” he says. “But his insight immediately struck a chord because at the time it was extremely painful developing services for mobile devices.
“He believed that aligning standards around an open-source operating system would drive innovation across the mobile industry.”
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,” Page says.
“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.”
Yet while Rubin’s successor may be well placed to drive Google and Android forward, Rubin’s decision to leave will not have shocked many, after previously denying rumours of an impending resignation last June.
Believed to be leaving Google to head up a new company called CloudCar, will Rubin’s departure impact on the handset makers tied to Android?
Google is currently activating nearly a million Android handsets each day, so will it just be a case of keep calm and carry on?
Will Andy Rubin’s departure change anything at Android? Tell us your thoughts below