Google’s Android chief steps down
Google’s Android chief steps down
Andy Rubin has stepped down as the executive in charge of Google’s Android operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, ending a seven-year reign that reshaped the technology industry.
The unexpected change announced Wednesday may raise new questions about the Android’s direction as Google duels with Apple, Microsoft and a long list of other companies in the increasingly important mobile computing market.
Google is replacing Rubin with Sundar Pichai, an executive in charge of the company’s Chrome Web browser and operating system for lightweight laptop computers. That move may heighten recurring speculation that the Chrome operating system eventually will supplant Android.
In a Wednesday blog post, Google chief executive Larry Page said Rubin, 50, has reached a stage in his career where he wants to try something different after devoting so much time and energy to Android. Rubin, a longtime gadget lover who once worked at Apple, hatched Android at a start-up that Google bought in 2005, when accessing the Internet from a mobile phone was still an exercise in frustration.
“Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android — and with a really strong leadership team in place — Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google,” Page wrote. The company declined to disclose what Rubin’s new role will be.
— Associated Press
Apple chief must give
Apple chief executive Tim Cook must give a deposition in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the world’s biggest technology company over e-book pricing.
The Justice Department sued Apple and a group of book publishers last year, claiming they conspired to raise prices for electronic books in violation of U.S. antitrust law. The possibility of Cook’s deposition was disclosed Friday in a brief order by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan. Cote ordered the deposition on Wednesday, limiting it to four hours, according to the court.
The Justice Department asked Cote in a March 6 letter for “assistance in settling a discovery dispute” with Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple over Cook’s deposition. That letter was not part of the publicly available court file.
Apple is the only defendant remaining in the case. Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin and HarperCollins settled with the government.
Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment on the deposition.
— Bloomberg News
Also in Business
l Fisker Automotive, maker of the $100,000 Karma sports car, confirmed Wednesday that co-founder Henrik Fisker has left the company. The company gave no reason for the resignation. The trade publication Automotive News reported that Henrik Fisker told it in an e-mailed statement that he left after several major disagreements on business strategy. He did not give further details.
l BlackBerry, the Canadian smartphone maker that rolled out a new lineup in January, said one of its “established partners” has ordered 1 million BlackBerry 10 phones, the most in the company’s history. “An order for 1 million devices is a tremendous vote of confidence in BlackBerry 10,” Rick Costanzo, executive vice president of global sales for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, said Wednesday in a statement. Krista Seggewiss, a spokeswoman for BlackBerry, declined to say who the buyer was. The partner could be a company or a government customer, she said.
l Ina Drew will testify Friday in her first public appearance since leaving JPMorgan Chase as chief investment officer at a Senate hearing into her department’s botched derivatives bet and record trading loss. The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is examining wrong-way bets made by Bruno Iksil, one of Drew’s U.K.-based traders who was known as the London Whale. The debacle cost JPMorgan more than $6.2 billion over nine months and at one point wiped out $51 billion in stock market value for the New York-based bank.
l The U.S. federal budget deficit jumped in February from January, though it is still running well below last year’s pace. Higher taxes and an improving economy are expected to hold the annual deficit below $1 trillion for the first time since President Obama took office. The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit grew in February by $203.5 billion. That followed a small surplus of $2.9 billion in January. And February’s gap was $28 billion smaller than the same month a year ago.
l The Federal Reserve is changing its schedule for issuing policy statements, a shift that will give Chairman Ben S. Bernanke an opportunity to better control the message that the central bank sends to financial markets. The Fed will now issue a statement at 2 p.m. Eastern time for all eight meetings. Four of those meetings will be followed by a Bernanke news conference at 2:30 p.m. Prior to the change, nearly two hours passed between when the statement was issued and Bernanke’s news conference began.
— From news services
l 8:30 a.m.: Weekly jobless claims and producer price index for February released.
l Earnings: Fannie Mae.