SAN FRANCISCO — Google says the executive in charge of its popular Android software for smartphones and tablet computers is stepping down from the job.
The unexpected change announced today marks the first time that the Android software has been overseen by someone other than Andy Rubin. He began working on the software at a startup that Google bought in 2005.
Rubin will replaced by Sundar Pichai, an executive who also oversees Google's Chrome Web browser and operating system.
In a blog post, Google CEO Larry Page said Rubin will continue working at the company in an undisclosed role.
Google Inc. began distributing Android for free to mobile device makers in 2008. The software is now used on more than 750 smartphones and tablets, making it the world's most popular mobile operating system.