A time when Google (GOOG) is ending. Andy Rubin, who led the division of the company Android in a fierce rivalry with Apple (AAPL), is stepping aside to pursue other opportunities in the company, according to a blog post today, Google CEO, Larry Page. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president in charge of the Chrome browser and operating system, will take his place.
Rubin achievements since joining Google in 2004, when it acquired his start-up, also called Android, it is difficult to overstate. When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, its success threatened to give Steve Jobs an insurmountable lead in the race to dominate the next generation of mobile computing. Rubin approach reflects (MSFT) Microsoft’s tactics in the 90s, when he beat Apple to dominate the personal computing industry. Your mobile phone operating system was open and available to partners like Samsung Electronics (005930), HTC (2498), and Motorola, who used it to create functional (if less visual impact) alternatives to the iPhone. The strategy resulted in an explosion of patent lawsuits, but it worked spectacularly. Last year, three of every four smartphones worldwide ran the software, according to IDC.
Rubin “believes standards alignment around an open source operating system could drive innovation across the mobile industry,” he wrote in his post page. “Most people thought I was crazy. But his vision immediately struck a chord because at the time it was extremely painful development services for mobile devices. Had a closet full of more than 100 phones were building our software and device almost per device? Was almost impossible for us to make truly great mobile experiences. ”
While Android is open source, the strategy has many benefits for Google. It has ensured the dominance of its search engine for the next era of computing and built a fledgling advertising business on Android mobile devices. And with its $ 12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, which closed last year, Google now has the opportunity to customize the design of mobile phones and tablets around the operating system.
What’s next for Rubin? Google is not saying, but he says he is in the company. He is an inveterate hacker and robotics hardware, so it’s a good bet you’ll end up above the research division of Google X, which is working on self-driving cars and Glass Google and who knows what else. “Andy has decided it’s time to hand over the reins and begin a new chapter in Google” wrote Page. “Andy, more moonshots please!”