Andy Rubin, who created Android and has led its development both at Android Inc. and later at Google, has decided to step down as the big Android boss at Google. Having created the world’s “most-used mobile operating system”, as Google CEO Larry Page refers to it, I’d say his stint has been successful. Interestingly enough, he will be succeeded by Sundar Pichai – Chrome OS boss. Yes.
Google bought Android Inc. in 2005, after first supporting it financially. Andy Rubin, who founded Android Inc. and acted as its CEO, came along to Google, and led the Android effort ever since. Today, Page unveiled, Android is backed by an industry partnership consisting of 60 hardware partners, who, together, have sold 750 million
Android devices. Pretty nifty for what started out as a then-insane dream of an industry-wide open source mobile operating system.
What’s most interesting is that Sundar Pichai, who leads the Chrome and Chrome OS efforts, will take over Rubin’s post – but without leaving Chrome and Chrome OS behind. People have often wondered where Google’s dual-operating system strategy would end up, and it seems we now know.
I think the ChromeBook Pixel is now showing its true colours. I don’t expect Android to become Chrome OS – but I do expect Chrome OS gaining the ability to run Android applications. All of a sudden, the Pixel’s specifications start to make sense, and the idea of being able to run Android applications alongside Chrome inside Chrome OS makes the platform a lot more appealing.
After a successful decade of Android, I think it makes sense to refresh the people at the top. Nothing’s worse than a leader who doesn’t know when to quit.