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UPDATE: the Verge covers this rumor. Andy Rubin, over on Twitter, denies that he's leaving Google: Oh, and Andy himself, on Google+, posted here:

How a rumor takes hold: Andy Rubin, here's one floating around about you

By the time I hear a rumor, usually sent to me in email or on some chat system I have open (like Google's or Facebook's) or on my phone it probably has already been around to a few dozens of people.

Today I heard that the head of Android, +Andy Rubin, will soon leave Google and head to a new startup called

Now, that rumor has two purposes: one, it might be true, in which case I start thinking about what that means for Android. I certainly will be looking for those signs when I attend the Google IO conference.

It has another purpose, which makes me interested in +CloudCar -- a startup I know nothing about. But if you look at the management team that startup has a sizeable list of Silicon Valley stars building up on its team. Definitely one to watch!

I thought I'd write this in public as a form of journalism. If it's not true, it's easy for someone like +Larry Page or +Vic Gundotra to signal such in the comments here, not to mention Andy himself.

If it is true, well, we all get to participate in the story together. 

That said, wow, what a job Andy has done at Google the past few years. I remember talking with Vic about Android in the early days and he said something like "no one thinks we have a chance here." Today more than half of the smartphones sold have Android running on them.

Funny, he recently told me the same thing about Google+. Makes me wonder what Vic and team have planned for Google IO. 

Let the rumors begin! Oh, wait, first we have to talk about Apple rumors, right? The big WWDC keynote is tomorrow morning. Ahh, the fun!
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I love Andy Rubin and would hate to see him leave Google. But, if this rumor is true, I know that he's so bright that he needs new challenges to grow and explore.
what in the world? really? Actually good for Android. :-) somebody with good design taste needs to be at helm :-)
Its always sad when someone so closely linked to something so succesful leaves. 
Google could buy CloudCar and solve the Andy Rubin-is-leaving-problem. If the rumor is true, of course.
It really annoys me when people say that Android is losing market share by over analyzing statistics. Lets not forget that Android has a 51% market share.
In my opinion Android will always beat iOS because Android works on a diverse range of phones, from entry level to top end. There are a LOT of people who want entry level phones and this is something Apple doesn't do.
I'm sure Android will be fine if he goes.
+Robert Scoble The first question I always ask about rumors: Who benefits? If CloudCar wanted to be bought by Google, word of Andy Rubin exit might shake the tree. Likewise, if Andy looked for a reason to stay, the rumors about leaving could be bargaining chip, financially or logistical. Or something else. But rumors rarely just circulate. The reason why is everything.
I'd be shocked to see +Andy Rubin leave +Google+/+Android - he's essentially CEO of a company within Google.

I'm interested in hearing how things might change if he were to leave though.

Also working on Android at Google is pretty different from working at a large company I think. The team is pretty autonomous, and I can't see that influencing Andy has he has a lot to do with that autonomy. Maybe purchasing +CloudCar and moving their engineers who don't like the big company atmosphere directly into the Android team with Andy would keep them happy (as Android is a relatively small team).
+Youssef Afifi well, people hear that comment and take it the wrong way. Essentially what was meant by that is Android is flexible enough to allow developers to create single applications that fully support phone and tablet (and now TV) formats.

Which is of course true.
Abeen G
"No plans to leave Google. Oh, and just for meme completeness -- there are over 900,000 android devices activated each day :-)" tweets Andy Rubin,
J Agnew
I thought a cornerstone of journalism was investigating rumors?
Andy Rubin is leaving Google, but he's not going to CloudCar - he's going to Apple.  Yes, you heard correctly - Apple.  
+Anirudh Chhabria He's not leaving idiot.  You should learn to read.  Please don't represent iPhone users.  You give them a bad reputation.
Hmmm +Robert Scoble , I remember the news that +Larry Page asked his deputies at the beginning of his term about a year ago to stick with him for a few more, at least! Though anything is possible, +Andy Rubin doesn't seem to be the one to commit and then say "screw it"! Did you think about that when someone mentioned this rumor?
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