Early today, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Andy Rubin was going to be passing the Android torch to Sundar Pichai. Andy has written an email to the Android Open Handset Alliance partners to say thanks, and goodbye.
During his farewell letter, Andy reminds us that he is an entrepreneur at heart, having fostered Android since the beginning to it’s current successful state. That fact that he mentions this as well as moving onto the next chapter as a Googler, hints that he might be going to work on something truly amazing. Something that is able to “transform computing for people everywhere”, similar to what Android helped accomplish under his watchful eyes.
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,
Combining what Andy mentions above and Larry Page’s “more moonshots” statement from earlier today, this might just spell Google’s Project X that we know very little about. Rubin’s background in launching successful mobile products makes him a great addition to X Lab’s rumored wearable computing initiatives.
Good luck Andy. We at Android Authority hate to see you go, but we’re excited for what products you’ll help materialize for us in the future.