In a blog post, Google CEO Larry Page announced the change that Pichai will lead Android, as well as continue his work in steering Google’s Chrome and Apps.
Rubin will stay at a Google in an as yet undefined role, though the blog implied it will be some new cutting edge initiative.
“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,” said Page. “Andy, more moonshots please!”
It’s unclear why Google made the change now in the face of Android’s widespread and growing adoption, but there have also been disappointments.
One has been the failure to get most Android users on the most recent version of Android. This so-called Android fragmentation makes it hard for developers to create apps that support the many different versions of Android in use.
And while Android has made progress on the tablet side, the iPad still has a dominant share of the market.