Google confirms Android co-founder Andy Rubin's departure

UPDATED: Google confirmed Rubin's departure with a comment from CEO Larry Page.

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As Sundar Pichai finds himself up on the way up the escalator at Google, it appears the former head of his department is on his way out of the company altogether.

Andy Rubin, the co-founder and former CEO of Danger and Android before the latter was acquired by Google in 2005, is said to be leaving the Internet giant, according to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Rubin stepped down as head of Android in March 2013 to spearhead other projects -- namely around robotics -- within the Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered corporation.

Google has been steadily building up its pile of robotics and drones with a number of acquisitions in the last year, such as Boston Dynamics in December 2013 and Titan Aerospace in April 2014.

The first peek into these ventures popped up in August with the unveiling of Project Wing, Google's drone delivery prototype that could someday rival Amazon's Prime Air.

According to the Journal report, Rubin is continuing on with this interest to launch his own incubator for robotics hardware startups.

Rubin's role within Android soon filled by Pichai, who moved up to senior vice president of both Android and Chrome as well as Google Apps.

Just last week, Pichai's responsibilities and power grew exponentially with a promotion to an all-around product czar covering the aforementioned units as well as Google+, Maps, research, search, commerce and ads and infrastructure.

ZDNet has reached out to Google and is awaiting comment.

UPDATED: Google confirmed the WSJ report that Rubin is leaving and provided the following statement from 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.

Image via Google

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