Former Android head and longtime Googler Andy Rubin is leaving the company, according to reports from the Information and the Wall Street Journal late Thursday. Rubin’s departure comes roughly 18 months after he stepped down from leading the Android team at Google. Back in March of 2013, Rubin ceded his post to Sundar Pichai, who took on leading Android in addition to leading the Chrome and Google apps teams.

Since then, Rubin had been working on Google’s robotics efforts. The company made a number of high-profile robotics acquisitions, but has yet to reveal exactly what it intends to do in this space, and Rubin had been largely absent from the public eye.

The Journal reported Thursday that Rubin will be moving on to launch a hardware startup incubator. His responsibilities at Google will be picked up by James Kuffner, a research scientist at Google that has been part of Rubin’s group there.


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