Google has gone through some major changes over the past year, it seems like one executive after another has either left the company or faded into questionable obscurity. It started with Melissa Mayer with her exit from Google and entrance into the position of CEO at Yahoo!. Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system, then strangely stepped aside to "take on other projects at Google" and no one is quite sure what exactly it is he's up to these days, also the recent rumors of his departure to become CEO of Microsoft. The latest addition to the list is longtime Google employee and VP of Android product management, Hugo Barra, announced that he was leaving Google to assume a career at Xiaomi as their VP of Global Sales. Hugo Barra's exit marks an almost complete change of the once were faces of Google. Barra and Rubin were the most influential decision makers at Android, guiding Android from an obscure mobile operating system into the most widely used mobile operating system today.
However, change is good (and necessary), at some point in the development of a project as massive as Android, having the closed off mindset that has currently been the one surrounding the Android development team no longer works. You will need outsiders with fresh ideas to take the reins and move the project into the next phase of its life. Android is now being led by Sundar Pichai who is regarded as one of the brightest and innovative minds in the industry. Under Pichai's leadership, the inner workings of Google's Android team has moved from a place closed off from outsiders, to a place where Google colleagues who work outside of Android are welcomed into projects. This can only result in better products and more innovation for Android users to enjoy in the future. A key player in Android also remains on the team, Matias Duarte, director of Android design. Duarte, became lead of the Android design team, tasked with designing Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). During the time before Android 4.0, the Android OS was desperately in need of modernization and consistency, a complete UI overhaul was needed. The team, lead by Duarte, arguably changed people's opinions on the Android operating system, with its new design and interface, making it more beautiful and user-friendly.
Android, is currently at its pinnacle, having more users than any other mobile operating system. This rise is in no doubt a result of the hard work and genius of the recently departed Android executives. However there is more work to be done, Android, is still terribly fragmented. With many different devices running many different versions of the operating system the need for unification and regulation is needed. The Android team as of late has made significant changes in order to help better regulate the Google Play Store to better the Android user experience. Hopefully the roles of the once faces of Android will be quickly replaced with like-minded individuals, who have the same sort of vision and can inject more fresh ideas into Android and continue to grow what has become the most amazing mobile experience available for smart phone users. These recent change mark an exciting time for Google, and Android, I have no doubt the best is still yet to come.