New Android chief in Google reshuffle

Chrome boss Sundar Pichai to replace OS architect Andy Rubin as mobile divisions merged

Tags: Google IncorporatedUSA
  • E-Mail
New Android chief in Google reshuffle Rubin built the Android OS into the world’s number-one mobile device platform.
By  Stephen McBride Published  March 14, 2013

Android architect and division head Andy Rubin is to be replaced by Chrome overseer Sundar Pichai in a move by Google Inc to consolidate its mobile software units, the company announced yesterday.

Rubin is said to have voluntarily cleared the way for Pichai, whose former brief also included Google Drive and Gmail. Now Android will be folded into his brief as the world's number-one search company formulates its approach to the explosion in demand for consumer mobility devices.

Android has built up an almost 75% share of the global smartphone OS market and is used in several handsets including those of smartphone market leader Samsung Electronics.

In a blog post, Google chief executive Larry Page hailed Rubin's success for "having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android" and asked the departing division head for "more moonshots please".

Google acquired Android in 2005 and its success changed even the Internet titan's view of its own stomping ground. The proliferation of third-party apps created a monetisable ecosystem, and when Google launched its touch-screen laptop, the Chromebook Pixel, analysts speculated that the Chrome and Android products were being aligned.

"You had this Chrome OS and this Android Group that were building in many overlapping products," said Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg arguing that despite Android's success Chrome formed the heart of Google's Internet strategy, calling the browser "the purest expression of Google's philosophy".

"For Google, it's not about the platform, but the ecosystem," Gartenberg said. "They're more concerned long-term about Google Docs, Google Voice, Google Books, and less about helping Samsung sell more phones."

As yet, it is unclear what new role Rubin would take in Google, but analysts have so far suggested he may take on one of the company's fledgling projects such as the Glass eyewear or the self-driving car.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code