UPDATED: Android founder Andy Rubin steps down from role at Google

Google has announced that Andy Rubin, the man behind the phenomenally popular Android platform has stepped down from his position.

The web giant's chief executive Larry Page announced the surprised management shake-up in a blog post entitled "Update from the CEO".

Rubin has been at Google since Android was acquired in 2005. No reason was given for his departure from the Android team, but it appears to be amicable as Page praised Rubin for his hard work in making Google a major player in the mobile market.

"Sergey [Brin] and I first heard about Android back in 2004, when Andy Rubin came to visit us at Google. He believed that aligning standards around an open-source operating system would drive innovation across the mobile industry. Most people thought he was nuts. But his insight immediately struck a chord because at the time it was extremely painful developing services for mobile devices," Page noted.

"Fast forward to today. The pace of innovation has never been greater, and Android is the most used mobile operating system in the world: we have a global partnership of over 60 manufacturers; more than 750 million devices have been activated globally; and 25 billion apps have now been downloaded from Google Play."

Page announced that Sundar Pichai, SVP of Chrome and Apps and Google will now oversee Android alongside his current responsibilities.

Pichai was responsible for launching the hugely popular Chrome browser and Page is confident that he is the right man to guide Android.

"[While] Andy's a really hard act to follow, I know Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward," Page added.

Update: 15/02/2013

Rubin has written an open letter to his Android team members which was obtained by the WSJ. He is set to continue working at Google, but remained tight-lipped on his position.

"As for me, I am an entrepreneur at heart and now is the right time for me to start a new chapter within Google. I am amazed by what we have accomplished from those early days (not so long ago!), and remain passionate about the power of a simple idea and a shared goal an open source platform freely available to everyone to transform computing for people everywhere," he said.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.