IIT Graduate Sundar Pichai Takes Over For Andy Rubin As Head Of Android At Google
Andy Rubin, head of Android at Google, is leaving that job to take on another unspecified role at the company in a surprise management switch up, Google CEO Larry Page announced in a blog post today. Sundar Pichai, head of Chrome and Apps, is now in charge of Android.
Pichai will take on leading Android in addition to his existing duties spearheading efforts with Chrome and Apps, which indicates a move to unify all these platforms.
“Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android — and with a really strong leadership team in place — Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google,” Page wrote. “Andy, more moonshots please!
The merger of the Chrome and Android divisions helps resolve a longstanding tension in the Mountain View, California-based company’s corporate strategy, and reflects a convergence of mobile and desktop software.
When Google poured resources into launching the Chrome web browser five years ago, the company laid out a vision of the Internet and an ecosystem of Google apps based on the Web. But the Android operating system, acquired by Google in 2005, has also been a runaway success, enabling third-party handset makers like Samsung to overtake Apple Inc while also spawning a massive economy of third-party apps that are only loosely affiliated with Google.
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.
It’s not the first time in recent memory that one of the biggest names within a top tech company has moved on to pastures new. In fact, iOS Vice President Scott Forstall left Apple towards the end of last year, closely followed by the departure of Windows chief Steven Sinofsky over at Microsoft.