March 14, 2013, 10:06 AM

Android’s shepherd leaves for greener pastures

Andy Rubin is handing Android’s reins to Google’s Chrome chief, Sundar Pichai.

Andy Rubin, the man who created the Android mobile operating system that Google Inc. now operates, has stepped down from his leadership position with Android. He will be pursuing new opportunities at Google, an official Google blog post says. Sundar Pichai, who leads Google’s apps and Chrome browser teams, is taking over Android duties.

“Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use—and he loves a big bet,” writes Google CEO Larry Page in the blog post. “Take Chrome, for example. In 2008, people asked whether the world really needed another  browser. Today Chrome has hundreds of millions of happy users and is growing fast thanks to its speed, simplicity and security. So while Andy’s a really hard act to follow, I know Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward.”

Google has partnered with 60 mobile device manufacturers for disseminating Android; more than 750 million Android devices have been activated globally; and 25 billion apps have been downloaded from the Google Play app store, Google says.

“Today we’re living in a new computing environment,” Page writes. “People are really excited about technology and spending a lot of money on devices. This is driving faster adoption than we have ever seen before. We’re getting closer to a world where technology takes care of the hard work—discovery, organization, communication—so that you can get on with what makes you happiest, living and loving. It’s an exciting time to be at Google.”

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