According to the WSJ, Andy Rubin left Google after almost a decade of working for the company. He has been working at Google since 2005, when his company at the time, Android Inc., was acquired by the search giant. Rubin was in charge of Android until last year, when he was replaced as Android chief by Sundar Pichai, then the SVP of Chrome.
When Android Inc. was just a small start-up, Rubin was envisioning a world where the massive fragmentation in the mobile market caused by each smartphone OEM using its own incompatible or outdated operating system could be fixed by getting all OEMs to use a single, more advanced, operating system – Android.
This operating system caught Google's leaders' attention, as they were also frustrated with poor web experiences on mobile phones. In 2005, two years after Android Inc. was founded, Google acquired Rubin's company.
Andy Rubin understood that Android would have a much better chance to convince large smartphone manufacturers to adopt an OS that wasn't their own if another large company, such as Google, was in charge of it. With Google's nearly limitless resources, Android could become the most advanced mobile operating system.
With over one billion monthly active users, over 80 percent global market share, a great deal of advanced functionality, and with virtually all smartphone manufacturers having adopted Android (including Nokia at some point, even though it been historically hostile towards Android), one could say that Rubin's vision has been accomplished.
It's not clear, though, if Andy Rubin is leaving Google on good terms. When he was replaced by Sundar Pichai, there wasn't much information about why he stepped down from his position as Android boss, except for the fact that he was going to lead Google's robotics division.
Andy Rubin's admitted hobby has been building robots, and it was also thought that he has more of an entrepreneurial rather than a managerial spirit, so his departure from the Android division wasn't too much of a shock.
Despite the fact that he seems to have had a good time running Google's advanced robotics division, though, Rubin appears ready to leave Google for good and start his own "incubator for hardware startups."
"Larry enabled the robotic effort to run exactly the way I wanted it to, and we made great progress in our first year," Rubin told the WSJ.
Larry Page also thanked him for his success with Android:
"I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next. With Android, he created something truly remarkable—with a billion plus happy users. Thank you."