Andy Rubin Takes Leave From Essential

Pablo Tucker
November 30, 2017

The full details surrounding the departure seem a bit murky and there are already denials from his reps about why he left, but you should still know the situation since the man runs one of the new Android smartphone makers aiming to become a power player. This report comes close on the heels of a report of alleged "inappropriate" behaviour by the Android founder, which is raising questions as to the real reason for the leave. Google's investigation reportedly only says that Rubin should not have had a consensual relationship with a subordinate. It's surprising even today, nearly three years after Andy Rubin, who started Android before his company was acquired by Google in 2005, left Google.

Rubin's spokesperson Mike Sitrick denied the allegation to The Information, saying "any relationship" Rubin had at Google was consensual and that Rubin was never told by Google that he had been engaged in misconduct.

Citing three people familiar with the matter, the news outlet reported that Google began its investigation into the relationship after an employee complained to the company's HR department about her relationship with Rubin. "With Android he created something truly remarkable - with a billion-plus happy users".

We reached out to Google and Essential for comment but had not heard back at time of writing.

Essential confirmed that Rubin had stepped aside and said that Niccolo de Masi, Essential's president, would be in charge for the time being.

Rubin - who's also a former Apple engineer and the founder of Danger, which made the T-Mobile Sidekick smartphone product - started tech startup incubator Playground Global in 2014 before founding Essential, which released its first smartphone this year. Just like the ouster of Rubin, Singhal too left Google in a move that came as a surprise to many. It is not clear whether there was a sexual assault or any sort of sexual misconduct.

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