Andy Rubin, who co-founded the Android project, is leaving Google. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rubin's departing to create an incubator for hardware startups. His role heading up the company's robotics will be taken up by James Kuffner, a research scientist at the company and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
In a statement, Google's CEO Larry Page thanked Rubin for his work. "I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next," Page said. "With Android he created something truly remarkable-with a billion plus happy users. Thank you."
Rubin's been at Google for nearly a decade
Rubin originally joined Google as part of the company's highly secretive acquisition of Android in 2005. In the years that followed, he helped turn it from a startup project into what's now a cornerstone of Google's business, and the most dominant mobile operating system in the world. Prior to Android, Rubin was working at Danger, the company that created the Sidekick mobile phone. He also had stints at Apple, General Magic, and working on the WebTV project (which sold to Microsoft).
The move is, perhaps, not a total surprise. Last March, Rubin left the Android group and was replaced by Sundar Pichai. His latest project, as detailed in a lengthy New York Times report in December, was creating robots for a project outside of the company's Google X lab, something that dovetailed with Google's shopping spree of robotics companies. In 2012, there were also rumors abound that Rubin planned to leave for a stealth-mode startup called CloudCar, though they were vehemently denied.