Nerval's Lobster writes "Andy Rubin is stepping down as head of Google's Android division, according to the company. 'Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android — and with a really strong leadership team in place — Andy's decided it's time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google,' Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a March 13 note on Google's official blog. 'Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps.' If Rubin had any other reasons for departing, the blog posting left them unexplained. Android has been activated on 750 million devices around the world, according to Google, on top of some 25 billion apps downloaded from the Google Play storefront. It remains to be seen whether 'start a new chapter at Google' is some sort of polite corporate euphemism for Rubin's eventual departure from the company, or if he really is taking over another project or division. Page suggested in his blog posting that Pichai 'will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward,' which doesn't offer a lot about the operating system's future direction: Pichai does have direct control over three core platforms, raising the possibility that Google could try and exploit further crossovers between the three. But what form that will take is anyone's guess."
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