Google has announced that Andy Rubin is stepping down as the head of Android, to be replaced by Sundar Pichai who currently heads Chrome and Apps. Pichai will retain his current duties in addition to leading Android. CEO Larry Page announced the change on Google’s blog as well as boasting of Android’s wide reach in the mobile market, with more than 750 million devices and 25 billion apps downloaded from Google Play. The step-down does not not seem to be a corporate move, more likely a personal choice by Rubin who has said “an entrepreneur at heart and now is the right time for me to start a new chapter within Google,” in an email that was sent to partners.
With this, we may be seeing a change in direction towards a more unified Android and Chrome ecosystem. The company has doubled down on Pichai to bring the company forward towards technically excellent yet easy to use products. Rubin will most likely remain in the Google family working towards “more moonshots” as Page puts it, possibly the rumored X Phone that’s been under wraps at Motorolla.