Google appoints Indian-American as Android CEO

Mobile update: Andy Rubin,the architect of Android,decides to step down

Written by Reuters | San Francisco | Published:March 15, 2013 1:28 am

Andy Rubin,the architect of Android,the world’s top-selling mobile operating system,has decided to step down as Google Inc combines mobile software divisions under one roof,the company said on Wednesday.

Google appointed Sundar Pichai,the executive overseeing its Chrome web browser and applications like Google Drive and Gmail,to take over Rubin’s responsibilities,hinting at how the company with the dominant Internet search engine intends to address the rise of mobile devices.

In a blog post,Larry Page,Google’s chief executive and co-founder,credited Rubin for evangelising Android several years ago and building it into a free,open-source platform that runs on nearly three-quarters of the world’s smartphones.

The merger of the Chrome and Android divisions helps resolve a longstanding tension in the company’s corporate strategy,and reflects a convergence of mobile and desktop software.

Under Pichai’s direction,Google has released several netbook computers using the Chrome operating system. Last month,when Pichai unveiled the Chromebook Pixel,the first Chrome-based laptop with a touch-screen interface,analysts noted that Chrome and Android appeared to be on converging paths.

Page was mum on Rubin’s future role. Some analysts speculated that Rubin could take on one of the company’s many budding projects such as its Glass eyewear or the self-driving car.

In his blog post,Page said,“Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use – and he loves a big bet,” Page wrote. “So while Andy’s a really hard act to follow,I know Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward.”

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