UPDATE 1-Google names Pichai to head Android, replacing Rubin
SAN FRANCISCO, March 13 (Reuters) - Google Inc has appointed Sundar Pichai the chief of its Android division, replacing Andy Rubin as the overseer of a software platform that in just a few years has become the world's most-used mobile software.
The move brings Google's mobile software, applications and Chrome browser under one umbrella. Larry Page, Google's chief executive and co-founder, credited Rubin for evangelizing Android more than half a decade ago and said the decision to switch was Rubin's. Page was mum on Rubin's future role.
Rubin built Android into a software platform used by most of the world's largest handset manufacturers, from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to HTC Corp, supplanting the platform of Apple Inc.
"Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps. Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use-and he loves a big bet," Page wrote in a Wednesday blogpost.
"Andy's decided it's time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google. Andy, more moonshots please!"
Shares in the company slipped 0.5 percent to $823.37 in afternoon trading.