Andy Rubin, the founder of Android, is leaving Google after joining the company when his startup was acquired in 2005.
Rubin was in charge of the Android division until 2013, and helped transform it from a small open-source platform into the biggest mobile operating system in the entire world.
Now, he’s going to create a startup accelerator for companies focused on hardware, according to The Wall Street Journal. And, based on what we’ve heard about Rubin from our sources, it sounds like a great fit.
One source who previously worked with Rubin described Andy as an excellent founder, and explained how he’s different than Sundar Pichai, the Google exec currently leading the Android and Chrome divisions who just got a major promotion last week.
“I think Andy is probably the best person in the world to take something from zero to one,” our source said in a previous interview before Rubin’s departure. “Sundar is probably one of the best people in the world to take something from 100 to 1,000.”
A separate source who also worked with Rubin said he always encouraged the startup culture at Google. Rubin’s leaving came as somewhat of a surprise, our source said, because it seemed as if he liked what he was doing there. But, at the same time, this person also said working at an accelerator fits in with what Rubin wanted to do.
“He’s an entrepreneur. He likes to think fast and innovate,” one source said in an interview prior to Rubin’s exit, in reference to Android being handed over to Pichai. “I think that at some point, Android got so big that it’s not necessarily that same challenge. And I think he still wants to have some more challenges and make some more great things happen.”
Our source didn’t know why Rubin suddenly left the company, but speculated that it could have something to do with Page’s recent reorganization. Or, it could simply be that Rubin is more interested in working with early stage startups at this time.