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Android co-founder Andy Rubin leaving Google to launch tech hardware startup incubator

Andy Rubin, co-founder and architect of Android, the world's top-selling mobile operating system, who led the unit after Google acquired it eight years ago only to hand over its reins to Sundar Pichai last year, is leaving the internet giant.

Rubin, who has been involved with Google's robotics unit since relinquishing his responsibilities for Android, is going to launch a tech hardware startup incubator, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Google has not given any reason for his departure nor disclosed if it would back Rubin's proposed incubator.

Google is replacing him with James Kuffner, a research scientist at Google and a member of the robotics group, to head the robotics unit.

Rubin, who had worked at Apple in the past had co-founded a hardware startup Danger (later acquired by Microsoft). He then joined hands with Rich Miner to start Android in 2003. Google acquired Android in 2005.

His departure comes amidst a string of top level departures and people movement at Google. Early this year Google+ creator Vic Gundotra had quit the firm and more recently Nikesh Arora, chief business officer, moved to join SoftBank.

Rubin's move comes soon after Google named Sundar Pichai as the new head of all products, barring YouTube.

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