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Andy Rubin
Andy Rubin

Google just announced a leadership change for the company’s Android group, with potentially meaningful implications for Google’s operating systems and apps: Andy Rubin, the longtime Android boss, is changing to a new role inside the company. Sundar Pichai, who already heads up Chrome and apps for the company, will be taking on leadership of Android, as well.

In a post announcing the changes, Google CEO Larry Page said Rubin has “decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google.” Rubin’s new role isn’t specified in the post.

The change comes as the lines are increasingly blurring between traditional computers, tablets and mobile devices. The internal leadership change sets the stage for Google to create tighter connections between Chrome and Android for developers and users. Chrome includes Google’s web browser and its Chrome OS for notebook computers.

Rubin joined Google when the company acquired Android in 2005. Android has since become the most widely used smartphone operating system, with more than 750 million devices activated.

“Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use—and he loves a big bet,” writes Page. “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.”

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