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March 14, 2013

Andy Rubin Begins New Role at Google Today

Sundar Pichai Takes Over Rubin’s Baby: Android

The chief architect of Android, Andy Rubin, begins his new role at Google today, creating “more moonshots” for the technology giant.

While it has not been announced just what it is Rubin will be doing, CEO Larry Page obviously has high hopes for his future in 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 wrote in a blog post.  “Andy, more moonshots please!”

Rubin’s arrival at Google eight years ago kick-started the firm’s mobile software development program because he brought with him Android.

Andy Rubin

Andy Rubin

The first Android Smartphone was released in the fall of 2008 and, in just a little more than four years, it has become the only operating system to not only give Apple’s iOS a run for its money, but surpass it as the most-used system. So far, a total of 750 million Android devices have been activated.

Rubin penned a farewell letter to his Android team that touched on the accomplishments and hard work of the past number of years.

Here is an excerpt from his letter:

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.

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai

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.

Pichai, who heads the company’s Chrome Web browser and operating system for lightweight laptop computers, will now add Android to his list of responsibilities.

“Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use — and he loves a big bet,” wrote Page. “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.”

There has been some speculation that the change in command is an opportunity for Google to combine Android and Chrome for a more seamless experience for Smartphone and tablet users.