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Google parts with former Android chief

/ 2 November, 2014
Andy_Rubin_w_Android_Logo_WideThe corporate shakeup at Google continues and now it’s Andy Rubin, the former head of the company’s Android business and the current head of its robotics arm, who’s out.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to that Rubin is leaving the company, but declined to say how his departure might affect Google’s robotics efforts.

“I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page said in a statement. “With Android, he created something truly remarkable – with a billion-plus happy users. Thank you.”

Rubin joined Google in 2005 after the company bought Android Inc., the business he had founded. He acted as a senior vice president in charge of Android for about eight years, taking on Apple’s iPhones and building the Android brand into the world’s most popular mobile operating system

In December 2013, he was repositioned to manage Google’s burgeoning robotics division. He took over the division as the company was busily acquiring about eight robotics businesses, including Boston Dynamics, one of the best-known robotics companies in the world.

This latest executive shift comes on the heels of a corporate shakeup that saw several Google executives take a step back as one man — Sundar Pichai – took over several major divisions.

Seemingly looking to keep Google acting more like a hungry start-up than an ageing company that’s trying to fend off competitors, Page put Pichai, a senior vice president at Google, in charge of a large swath of the company’s core products and services. The move is expected to give Page more time and energy to focus on strategic moves, while Pichai focuses on the details of day-to-day business.

Before this latest move, Pichai, who joined Google in 2004, had been in charge of Chrome, Google Apps and Android.

He reportedly now also will be oversee research, search, maps, Google+, commerce and ad products and infrastructure. Robotics efforts easily could fall under the “research” umbrella, potentially giving Pichai control over what was once Rubin’s domain.