In a totally unexpected move, Google Wednesday announced its long-time Android head and Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content, Andy Rubin, is stepping down.
He will be replaced by Chrome vice president Cundar Pichai, who will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps. Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a blog post he expects Pichai to “double down on Android”, noting “the pace of innovation has never been greater”.
Despite Android’s indisputable lead in terms of device activations, latest data suggests that Apple’s iOS stole some share from Google’s mobile platform in the United States, the most important market for smartphones. The iOS platform is also the preferred choice for developers because Apple leads in terms of metrics that matter.
The decision to replace Rubin at the height of his career cries for parallels with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s firing of iOS boss Scott Forstall in August 2012, whose abrasive management style is said to have created unnecessary friction between key Apple executives…