andy rubin Credit: Joi/Flickr

Two years after Google announced it would acquire Motorola, questions about the value of the deal still linger. A source told The Verge that the misstep might have contributed to the ousting of Andy Rubin from the Android team.

In a piece analyzing the strategic and tactical advantages that Google obtained, but mostly failed to obtain, by acquiring Motorola Mobility, The Verge’s Nilay Patel revealed some potential clues about the true reasons behind Andy Rubin’s leaving from the Android team.

As a backgrounder, Google announced that Andy Rubin would no longer lead the Android team in early March. In a blog post, CEO Larry Page said that Rubin “decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google”, making it sound like the founder of Android was leaving voluntary. But rumors quickly emerged painting a less rosy picture of Rubin’s leaving.

Now a supposedly well connected source confirmed to the The Verge that Andy Rubin was ousted from the Android team, following missteps including the Motorola acquisition:

Andy stood behind the deal and thought it was important to Google. As [new Motorola CEO] Dennis Woodside started to look into the details, he couldn’t see what Andy supposedly saw, which added more fuel to the fire to oust him.

This information suggests that, Google was already dissatisfied with Rubin at the time when the Motorola purchase was announced, and, when the positive outcomes of the merger failed to materialize, Rubin shouldered the blame.

At this point, it is unclear what role has Andy Rubin adopted inside Google. We’ve heard rumors about a new moonshot program due to be introduced soon, but it’s all speculation at this point. What we do know is that Android wouldn’t exist today without Andy Rubin, so regardless of what he’s currently doing at Google, we hope he’ll stay with the company.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • Why do we always speculate the purchase of Motorola was all about the patents. It could have been also for the tax breaks, building hardware, so on…It is important that Google keeps the OS under control. Remember, Motorola was going to sue other Android Developers. the purchase made sense. Google also needed patents (maybe some of them are not as valuable as they may seem. Google also got cash in this deal and tax breaks. Google also limited the chance of another Android maker developing for Microsoft. The truth of this deal is: Motorola only costs 1.5 Billion according to Forbes. People are also stating that the Nortel Patents were worth more (This is so untrue due to the Nortel Patents being FRAUD and were already licensed to google). Google is a smart company. Google also has the NEXUS line, manufactured by 3rd parties and the Google Brand (Glasses, future Watch) made by Foxconn. I believe Google’s next move will be HTC or RIMM. Watch…

    • Naga Appani

      Well said!! I wish Nilay Patel could’ve thought same before penning adamant conclusions.

    • Alphard

      > Why do we always speculate the purchase of Motorola was all about the patents.

      Some doubted that? You got some explaining about why Motorola kept losing its edge, talent and money under the control of the maker of Android, when it should’ve thrived.

  • one more note: Google did not need anyone infighting between Android Developers such as LG-Samsung, HTC and ZTE, so on…Motorola would have created an even greater Android Legal mess.

  • I don’t think the value of Motorola will be clear until Motorola begins to release its “Google influenced” product lines, regardless tho’ if I were in Google’s position two years ago, having a more integrated software and hardware business for mobile computing and moving towards a more Apple esq business model for the future makes a lot of sense because there’s no telling when OEMs are going to jump ship on Android for other open platforms like Windows 8, Ubuntu, Firefox etc. or develop in house OS like Tizen (which I think Samsung could seriously threaten) in order to make a grab at controlling OS, Hardware and content distribution. Say what you want about Apple, but their business model is pretty much the envy of their competiton and everybody seems to be iterating that way.