The Wall Street Journal is r
eporting that Android cofounder Andy Rubin is leaving Google to launch a hardware startup incubator. Rubin had recently been tapped to head up a top-secret robotics division at Google.
Rubin had been with Google since the company acquired Android in 2005, but last year Rubin moved from the Android team to this new robotics role. He oversaw Google’s buying spree of various robotics companies, including Boston Dynamics, which is a huge military contractor. Before Google, Rubin co-founded Danger, which made the famous T-Mobile Sidekick. The Sidekick platform was abandoned in 2010.
James Kuffner, a research scientist in the division, will take over Rubin’s job.
Whatever the reason for the split, it seems to be amicable, at least according to this statement from Google CEO Larry Page: “I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next. With Android he created something truly remarkable — with a billion plus happy users. Thank you.”
Google confirmed the Journal’s story, but didn’t provide further details.