Earlier this year, there was a new statue unveiled on Google’s Mountain View campus. Google normally erects installations depicting each new Android version’s dessert. This latest one, though, showed an Android unlike any other. It was a shiny, chrome version of the popular mascot. At the time, theories flew around about a Chrome-Android union, but were flatly dismissed by those in the know.
However, a high-level shakeup, which took place earlier this week, is stronger evidence that the dream match for many Google fans could indeed be closer than you may think. Google CEO Larry Page announced earlier this week that Andy Rubin, who has led Android from the day zero and helped make it the most widely used mobile OS, is moving on from the mobile OS. His place will be taken by Sundar Pichai, the Indian-origin Senior Vice President, Chrome and Chrome OS. Pichai, a rising star within the Google ranks, will handle his old duties as well as taking on the responsibility of taking Android to the next level.
Rubin gives way to Pichai
“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,” Page wrote in his announcement. “Andy, more moonshots please!” That makes us believe that Rubin will be heading to Google X, where the search giant undertakes secret projects and takes proverbial "moonshots" with out-there concepts like self-driving cars and a certain wearable named Glass. It also makes sense to have Rubin who has so much experience in mobile to lead Google’s foray in to wearable technology.
Rubin co-founded Android Inc. in 2003 and took Android to Google the next year. He’s been with Google ever since, presiding over Android’s rise to the top of the worldwide mobile OS pecking order. He has also overseen the development of Google’s Nexus phones and tablets into a full-fledged consumer brand.
Incidentally, PIchai joined Google the same year as Rubin. Reportedly, Google won him over, beating competitors like Twitter, by offering a sizeable signing bonus. Under Pichai, Chrome grew to become the most used web browser in the market, and the browser-based Chrome OS has also been on the rise. Pichai was the driving force behind Google’s first self-made hardware, the touchscreen Chromebook Pixel, which was launched earlier this year. Along with a slew of Chromebooks, the Chrome OS is seeing a surge and Samsung’s Chromebook has been a hot-seller on Google Play in Best Buy stores. It has been the top bestseller on Amazon every day since its launch.
The Chrome-Android statue in Google's campus
His appointment to the higher echelons of Android could signal a push by Google towards bringing the two thus far different strategies of Chrome and Android under one banner. Pichai now runs both divisions and thanks to the Chromebook Pixel, now both are capable of running on touchscreen devices as well. If Google wants to bring Android and Chrome OS together, it may just have found its man.
Published Date: Mar 16, 2013 05:29 pm | Updated Date: Mar 16, 2013 05:29 pm