Despite claims of sexual misconduct, Andy Rubin was allowed to leave Google with $90 million
You might recall that last November, Android creator Andy Rubin, took a leave of absence from Essential. Rubin, who founded the company behind the Essential Phone, allegedly left his latest project due to a brewing scandal involving an "inappropriate relationship" that he reportedly had with a female colleague back when he was employed by Google. In 2014, Rubin left Google to start "an incubator for startups interested in building technology-hardware products." But it seems that behind the scene, much more was going on.
Today's New York Times goes into more depth over Rubin's departure from Google almost four years ago. The paper says that what Google didn't reveal at the time was that the executive was having an extramarital relationship with a co-worker, who claimed that Rubin "coerced her" into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013. Google investigated the charges and found them to be credible, according to sources who requested anonymity because of signed confidentiality agreements. Google CEO at the time, company co-founder Larry Page, requested a resignation letter from Rubin.
While Google could have used the incident to fire Rubin and withhold any large exit payment, the company let him resign and gave Rubin $90 million payable over 48 months. The November payment will be the last one Google makes under terms of Rubin's departure from the company. Google did make a multi-million investment in his next project. A spokesman for Rubin says that "any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual and did not involve any person who reported directly to him."
The Times says that Rubin was one of three Google executives accused of sexual misconduct who were protected by the company. Two unknown senior executives were let go, but Google paid them each millions of dollars even though it was not legally required to do so. And just as we were putting together this article, Google announced that over the last two years it has fired 48 people, including 13 senior managers, over claims of sexual harassment. This seems to dovetail with the Times piece, which mentions a number of intra-company relationships that took place at Google, including a consensual extramarital affair that co-founder Sergey Brin was said to have taken part in.
Google's vice president for people operation, Eileen Naughton, released a statement saying that Google has taken a hard line on inappropriate conduct.