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Former head of Android Andy Rubin leaves Google to start tech hardware incubator

Google's former head of Android, and most recently robotics chief, Andy Rubin on Thursday announced he is leaving the company to start an incubator focusing on technology hardware products.

The news was first relayed by The Wall Street Journal, which reported Rubin is moving on from Google to help hardware startups get off the ground, an area of expertise for the Android cofounder.

"I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next," said Google CEO Larry Page. "With Android he created something truly remarkable— with a billion plus happy users. Thank you."

Starting out at Google as head of Android, Rubin switched positions to take on the Internet giant's robotics division in 2013. In the intervening months, Google has invested heavily in the sector, expanding its portfolio of technology through research and acquisitions like noted military contractor Boston Dynamics.

Citing sources familiar, a subsequent report from The Information claims Rubin's departure involved the structure of his team at Google, for which he was supposedly seeking a "different arrangement."

Prior to joining Google and building out the Android operating system, Rubin worked at Apple from 1989 to 1992. Following his stint in Cupertino, he moved to General Magic before cofounding Danger, maker of the then-popular Sidekick smartphone. Rubin split off to cofound Android, Inc., which was purchased by Google in 2005.

Replacing Rubin at Google's robotics arm will be James Kuffner, who will move up the ranks to take over the division.