In a news that has shaken up just about every single Android or mobile enthusiast in general, the long standing lead of Android Andy Rubin has called time on his role as the Head of Android Team. Andy, who has been often featured at Google I/O and other Android related events is going to be succeeded by Sundar Pichai who was till now heading the Chrome and the apps department. Andy would continue being a part of Google but cited that it was the right time to start a new chapter with the company. This indeed is a proud moment for every Indian as Sundar Pichai is a B.Tech (Engineer) from the famed IIT Kharagpur.
Sundar Pichai was in news recently too as he announced the Chromebook Pixel which is the Laptop with the best display so far on the market. Andy Rubin on the other hand can walk out with his head held up high, especially seeing the tremendous growth that Android has seen in the past few years and not just the numbers but how the user experience has continued to improve on the Android platform. In his farewell letter this is what Andy Rubin wrote:
In November of 2007 we announced the Open Handset Alliance with 34 founding members. Today, I’m grateful to the over 85 OHA members who have helped us build Android and drive innovation at such an incredible pace. The Android ecosystem has seen tremendous growth since the launch of the very first Android device in October 2008. The volume and variety of Android devices exceeds even my most optimistic expectations — over 750 million compatible devices and counting!
At its core, Android has always been about openness — the idea that a thousand brains are better than one. Just as the ecosystem has grown, so has our team at Google. I am incredibly proud of the phenomenal group of people that spend their days (and nights) building the Android platform and services. Just look at last year…a lean yet incredibly ambitious team released Jellybean with Google Now, launched Google Play in many languages and countries and collaborated with several partners to build three new Nexus devices to help drive innovation in the ecosystem.
Today, the success of Android combined with the strength of our management team, gives me the confidence to step away from Android and hand over the reins. Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps. Hiroshi Lockheimer — who many of you already know well — plus the rest of the Android leadership team will work closely with all of our partners to advance Android and prepare the platform for new products and services yet to be imagined.
As for me, I am an entrepreneur at heart and now is the right time for me to start a new chapter within Google. I am amazed by what we have accomplished from those early days (not so long ago!), and remain passionate about the power of a simple idea and a shared goal — an open source platform freely available to everyone — to transform computing for people everywhere.
Thank you for your support,