Google CEO Larry Page today announced that Andy Rubin is stepping down as head of the company's Android division, turning over the reins to Sundar Pichai, who has led Google's Chrome and Apps efforts.
Sergey and I first heard about Android back in 2004, when Andy Rubin came to visit us at Google. He believed that aligning standards around an open-source operating system would drive innovation across the mobile industry. Most people thought he was nuts. But his insight immediately struck a chord because at the time it was extremely painful developing services for mobile devices.
Rubin will remain with Google, heading up unspecified new products.
Rubin, who spent several years at Apple as an engineer, co-founded Android in 2003 and remained at the head of those efforts following Google's acquisition of Android in August 2005. Apple has claimed that a key Android framework was inspired by his work at Apple, although the company has refrained from pressing that issue in court as it has focused its legal battles on manufacturers of Android-based handsets rather Android itself.
In his post, Page also shares some new Android statistics, revealing that over 750 million Android devices have been activated worldwide and that over 25 billion apps have been downloaded from the Google Play marketplace.