Earlier today, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Andy Rubin will be stepping down from his role as head of Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai will be taking the reins. This announcement really came out of nowhere, as it is no secret that Rubin has had an unparalleled amount of success running the Android team. He has taken Android from a complicated, developer-only operating system to one that is used world-wide by people of all skill levels. The way Google made this announcement was rather odd, though. Instead of sending out a press release or something of the sort, Larry Page personally posted a message on the official Google blog, explaining that “Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Androidâ€”and with a really strong leadership team in placeâ€” Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google.” Page also requested “more moonshots” from Rubin. But, what does Page mean by “more moonshots”? What exactly will Rubin be doing now that he has left his role in the Android department?
It’s no secret that Google is working on some crazy stuff behind the scenes right now. We’ve seen self-driving cars made by the search giant, as well as a talking shoe at SXSW this year. Google has also, of course, been working on one of the first commercial wearable computing devices, Project Glass. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Google has a specific department dedicated to these crazy projects. It is referred to as the X Lab, Google X, or Project X, and the birth place of many crazy interesting Google products. According to Astro Teller, the current head of Google X, a moonshot is something that will dramatically make something better, and that’s worth investing in, even the chances of it seeing commercial success are slim. Seeing that Ruvin had such a success making Android a commercial product, it makes sense that his next focus could be in the X Lab. With the public launch of Google Glass, which runs on Android, nearing, they may be looking for someone to do some fine tuning and make as enjoyable experience as possible for the end-user. Also, given that Larry Page asked Rubin for more moonshots, it makes a lot of sense that Rubin may be calling Project X his new home.
What do you think Rubin’s next step is at Google? Let us know down in the comments!