Nicholas Carlson on Andy Rubin’s Ouster From Android

Interesting piece by Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider:

The week after the news came out, we spent a few days in the Bay Area, talking with ex-Googlers and other plugged-in sources. We asked each of them about Rubin’s sudden demotion. […]

What we heard is that Larry Page doesn’t mind employing gruff types… so long as they serve his purpose. Page must have decided that the way Rubin was running Android no longer served his purpose, and that an Android run by Sundar Pichai would. So the question becomes: What does Pichai bring to Android that Rubin does not?

Some interesting speculation. The gossip echoes what I’ve heard, which is that this leadership change was not amicable. Page was “sick of the fighting” is the way I heard it. And the thing is, Sundar Pichai was the guy Rubin fought with the most — look no further than the curiously long time it took to make Chrome the default Android web browser, despite the fact that its predecessor, the plainly-named Browser, was nowhere near as good an app. Pichai may well be the last person Rubin would have wanted as his successor.

The part of this gossip that doesn’t add up, of course, is that, as announced, Rubin isn’t leaving Google, but instead is staying within the company to start something new. That doesn’t jibe with Rubin having had his baby wrested away and turned over to his archrival. So take it all with a grain of salt for now.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013