Andy Rubin, Co-Founder of Android Leaves Google

November 3, 2014 •


Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android has submitted his resignation to Google, but his departure will not impact the future of the Android brand. In fact, Rubin transitioned from being head of Google’s Android department to leading its robotics division last year. For more than a year, Sundar Pichai has overseen Android, and he will continue to lead the brand into the future.

A Maverick in Silicon Valley

Rubin was just the person Google needed to establish the Android brand as an authority in mobile devices. He is an old-fashioned maverick working in the high-tech industry. He works alone, and he gets stuff done. While running the Android department, Rubin was known for keeping his employees separate from the rest of Google’s—they even had their own cafeteria. In the early days, when both Apple and Google were fighting to establish themselves as the leader in mobile computing, Rubin was perfect for the job. He was independent, determined and a great leader.

A Diplomat Leading an International Company

As Android grew, the brand’s needs changed. Once it became an established international brand, it no longer needed an entrepreneurial maverick but a more diplomatic leader. Enter Sundar Pichai.

Pichai took over Android operations in early 2013. He is known for being more open to working with others – his employees do not have their own cafeteria. His attributes are better suited to working with the many partners that Android has now. For instance, Ara, a modular phone that Google is currently developing, will use a Toshiba-made chip. Pichai’s role as the head of Android includes navigating relationships like this one between Google and Toshiba, more than growing a startup.

Two Excellent Executives, Two Different Styles

Both Rubin and Pichai are excellent executives, but they each have their own style of leadership. Rubin did a great job founding and growing Android into a world-wide brand. Now that the brand is a global giant and works with companies throughout the world, Pichai is more adept at managing Android’s partnerships. For the foreseeable future, Android will be in his hands.

Rubin, meanwhile, is leaving Google to go and start his own company again. This time he plans on founding a technology incubator to help other entrepreneurs. Google’s CEO has wished him success, and we can only expect great things once Rubin is fully on his own again. Who knows, perhaps he will create another company for Google to purchase.