Report: Andy Rubin Left Google After ‘Inappropriate Relationship’

Andy Rubin, creator of Android, left Google in 2014 soon after an internal investigation allegedly found he'd had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, according to a new report.

Rubin, who later founded smartphone maker Essential, is now on leave from his new company.

"At our last regularly scheduled board meeting earlier in November, Andy asked for a leave of absence to deal with personal matters," a spokeswoman for the Palo Alto company said in response to an inquiry by SiliconBeat Wednesday. "The Board agreed and our President, Niccolo de Masi, will continue to run day to day operations at Essential."

According to the Information, Google investigated a complaint by a female employee who worked in the Android division while Rubin was in charge of it.

Google policy prohibits supervisors from having relationships with their subordinates.

A spokesman for Rubin is denying that Rubin did anything wrong.

"Any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual," Mike Sitrick told the Information, which first reported the allegation. "Mr. Rubin was never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct while at Google and he did not, either while at Google or since."

In 2013, the Android division headed by Rubin was turned over to Sundar Pichai, who's now Google's chief executive. Former Google CEO Larry Page was full of praise for Rubin at the time, saying, "Andy, more moonshots, please." Rubin then worked in Google's robotics division, and eventually left the company in 2014, nine years after Google's acquisition of Android. At the time, Rubin's departure was called a blow to Google's robotics division, but there was no hint of anything amiss.

"I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next," Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement then. "With Android he created something truly remarkable -- with a billion-plus happy users. Thank...

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