Google's head of Android Andy Rubin is to step down from his role as the company looks for fresh approach to its mobile platform.
Google chief executive Larry Page announced Rubin would be leaving in a blog post on Wednesday. Rubin will be replaced by Sundar Pichai, who currently heads up the firm's Chrome and Apps division.
"Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android - and with a really strong leadership team in place - Andy's decided it's time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google," wrote Page.
The message doesn't make clear if Rubin is leaving Google entirely or working on other projects.
Page also paid tribute to the work done by Rubin to help make the Android platform the success it has become.
"Sergey 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," wrote Page.
"Fast forward to today. The pace of innovation has never been greater, and Android is the most used mobile operating system in the world: more than 750 million devices have been activated globally. Pretty extraordinary progress for a decade's work."
Pichai (pictured) will also continue his existing work with Chrome and Apps and Page said he was confident he was well placed to manage all three divisions.
"Today Chrome has hundreds of millions of happy users and is growing fast thanks to its speed, simplicity and security. So 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," wrote Page.
Page pledged that despite Pichai's app development background Google will continue investment in its Nexus programme, creating own brand Android phones.
"The Nexus programme-developed in conjunction with our partners Asus, HTC, LG and Samsung-has become a beacon of innovation for the industry, and services such as Google Now have the potential to really improve your life," he said.
"We're getting closer to a world where technology takes care of the hard work -discovery, organisation, communication - so that you can get on with what makes you happiest... living and loving. It's an exciting time to be at Google."
The move comes at the peak of Android's success, with research house ComScore revealing that the OS now controlled over half the UK smartphone market at the end of 2012.
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