On Wednesday, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that it is consolidating the management of its Android and Chrome software businesses under one executive.
Chrome division chief Sundar Pichai will oversee both units, while Andy Rubin, who headed Google’s Android business, is stepping down. Analysts noted that combining Android and Chrome operations signalled that Google would seek to unify features of its mobile and laptop operating software in coming years, the San Jose Mercury News noted.
Rubin, who led Android’s development and swift market rise, will remain with Google in an as yet unnamed position.
Both Android and Chrome are distributed for free, but ultimately generate billion of dollars in advertising revenue for Google. Android has eclipsed Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS to become the dominant smartphone operating system worldwide.
Ironically, Rubin worked for Apple as an engineer before founding his own start-up called Android. Google acquired Android in 2005.
Last month, Google unveiled a new high-end laptop running its Chrome OS, the Chrome Pixel.
An industry research firm is forecasting that shipments of Android tablets will surpass iPad shipments for the first time this year.
Shares of Google slipped fractionally in Thursday morning trading.