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Android Founder Andy Rubin Steps Down as Head of Android at Google

Android Founder Andy Rubin Steps Down as Head of Android at Google

In a surprising memo posted on Google’s blog, Google EO Larry Page has just announced that Andy Rubin has officially stepped down as head of Android operations. Rubin was a co-founder of the Android platform, and is widely considered to be the “father” of Android. He will be replaced by the current Senior VP of Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai.


Page also notes that Android now accounts for over 750 million device activations, and that 25 billion apps have been downloaded from the Google Play store.

From the Google blog:

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!

That’s huge news – easily as significant (and perhaps more so) as Scott Forstall stepping away from Apple’s iOS platform. It’s unclear exactly why Rubin has decided to step down as the head of Android, especially considering the platform’s massive success so far – although all current indications suggest that he stepped down of his own accord, and was likely not forced out of the position. It also sounds like Rubin will remain at Google – and it will be interesting to see what role he takes in the company moving forward.

We’ve reached out to Google for additional information, and we’ll update this post with more information as soon as we hear it. But for the moment, all I can say is: Wow!