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Lots of Google changes this week it seems. In an official blog post, CEO and co-founder Larry Page announced that Andy Rubin, the head of Android Business, would “hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google.”
Taking Rubin’s place will be Sundar Pichai, who is currently in charge of Google’s Chrome division. This choice makes sense as there is a continuing overlap between Android and Chrome. According to the blog post, Pichai will run the Android unit in addition to the Chrome division.
Page emphasises that the decision to step down as head of Android was completely Rubin’s own and that his work had “exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android.” Page also notes that Rubin has left a “really strong leadership team in place”.
For Google, Android was a turning point, taking the company into the mobile big leagues as well as limiting the number of platforms it had to develop its software for.
“…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,” says Page in the post.
For the Silicon Valley giant “the pace of innovation has never been greater” as the CEO notes.
“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.”
Page reckons that this new computing environment we find ourselves in is pushing us closer to a “world where technology takes care of the hard work — discovery, organization, communication.”
“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.”
Rubin approached Google with the idea for Android in 2004 and in just under a decade it has become the most widely used mobile operating system on the planet.
Image: Yoichiro Akiyama