The rise and fall of Andy Rubin, the former Google executive accused of sexual misconduct whose new startup, Essential, just shut down for good
- Brian Ach/Getty Pictures
- Andy Rubin is the creator of Android and a former Google govt.
- Rubin’s profession appeared to be on monitor – software program engineering in Silicon Valley within the 1990s, founding Android, being a high canine at Google for a decade – till he was let go from Google after a sexual misconduct investigation, in response to a number of information stories.
- Rubin has been accused of getting inappropriate relations with a subordinate, allegedly coercing a lady into oral intercourse (an allegation that Rubin denies).
- And up to date unsealed court docket paperwork from a go well with filed by his estranged ex-wife allege he ran what was described as a “intercourse ring.”
- Now, the corporate Rubin based after leaving Google, Important, is shutting down for good.
- Go to Enterprise Insider’s homepage for extra tales.
Andy Rubin’s fall from grace within the tech world has dragged out over two years.
The inventor of Android – the OS utilized by practically 87% of world’s smartphones – has had a 30-year profession in software program engineering in Silicon Valley. His life appeared to be on monitor as one of many heroes of the trendy tech world till a set of explosive information stories from 2017 to 2019 characterised Rubin as an antagonist within the #MeToo motion.
Rubin’s spokesperson calls these stories mischaracterizations, telling Enterprise Insider:
“A lot of the current media protection mischaracterized Andy’s departure from Google and parroted fictional claims made about Andy by his ex-wife of their contentious divorce dispute. He seems to be ahead to telling his story sometime,” the spokesperson stated.
Because the allegations about Rubin have continued to influence him, Google, and the tech trade extra broadly, Rubin’s enterprise endeavors have taken a success as effectively: Important, the patron tech firm he based after leaving Google, introduced on Wednesday that it was shutting down.
Right here’s how Rubin’s profession received began, and every little thing that’s occurred since.
Andy Rubin was raised in Chappaqua, New York and attended Horace Greeley Excessive Faculty, graduating in 1981.
Supply: Worldwide Enterprise Instances
He attended Utica Faculty in New York, the place he studied laptop science, and graduated in 1986.
Supply: Worldwide Enterprise Instances
Rubin’s first job out of school was software program engineering, specializing in robotics, at Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy in Thornwood, New York.
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He spent a 12 months in Geneva, Switzerland, working as a software program engineer on the Société Genevoise d’Devices de Physique.
- S-F / Shutterstock
However a fateful assembly with an Apple engineer within the Cayman Islands in 1989 would change Rubin’s path, sending him out west to Silicon Valley.
- Jo Ann Snover/Shutterstock
Rubin randomly met Apple engineer Invoice Caswell on the seaside in the Cayman Islands. Rubin supplied Caswell, who had been kicked out of his trip cottage by his girlfriend, a spot to remain; Caswell supplied Rubin a job at Apple.
Sources: Enterprise Insider, New York Instances
Rubin began as a software program engineer at Apple in 1989.
Try the Apple enterprise card that Rubin posted on his LinkedIn (job description: “blockhead”).
He joined Normal Magic, an Apple spinoff engaged on a handheld computing gadget, in 1992.
- Robert Galbraith/Reuters
Normal Magic has a quiet fame in Silicon Valley: Forbes calls it “crucial lifeless firm in Silicon Valley” and New York Journal says it “invented the iPhone – 20 years too early.” The startup, then engaged on a precursor to the smartphone with an OS referred to as “Magic Cap,” was met with competitors when Apple launched its Newton PDA in 1993.
Sources: Enterprise Insider, Forbes, New York Journal
Rubin adopted his Normal Magic colleagues to WebTV as supervisor of communications engineering in 1995.
Normal Magic’s Steve Perlman and Phil Goldman based WebTV with Bruce Leak. WebTV allowed customers to entry the web on their TVs.
Microsoft acquired the corporate for $425 million in 1997, and it turned MSN TV.
Sources: Enterprise Insider, New York Instances, Forbes, Wired,
Rubin based his first firm, Hazard, in 1999 — and it invented the predecessor to the Sidekick.
The Hiptop had an app retailer and cloud storage. It additionally had its default net browser set to Google, which Google cofounder Larry Web page deemed “cool” after discovering out at a 2002 discuss Rubin gave at Stanford concerning the gadget.
Rubin left Hazard in 2004.
Sources: LinkedIn, Wired, New York Instances
And in a life-altering profession step, Rubin based Android in 2003.
- Thomson Reuters
Android’s objective: create an open-source OS for cell telephones. The firm title got here from the nickname “Android” that Rubin’s colleagues at Apple gave him due to his robotic obsession.
Sources: Enterprise Insider
He incubated Android within the winter of 2004 at Redpoint Ventures, the place he was the entrepreneur in residence.
— Redpoint (@redpointvc) October 22, 2015
He would return to the Menlo Park enterprise capital agency in 2015 as a enterprise associate, a capability he served in till 2017.
Sources: LinkedIn, Enterprise Insider, Bloomberg
Google acquired Android in 2005, and Android launched commercially in 2007.
- Reuters Pictures
Supply: The Data, Verge
Rubin served as Google senior vice chairman of cell and digital content material for practically a decade. He oversaw the Android division till 2013, when he moved over to the robotics division referred to as “Replicant.”
- Robert Galbraith / Reuters Pictures
Sources: New York Instances, Enterprise Insider, LinkedIn
He left Google within the fall of 2014, with a public announcement from then Google CEO Larry Web page that wished him “all the most effective.” Rubin stated on the time he was leaving Google to start out a tech incubator to assist develop startups enthusiastic about constructing hardware.
Supply: New York Instances
In 2015, Rubin began his enterprise agency, Playground International. Google was one of many firm’s buyers.
- Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Pictures
At this time, Playground International’s portfolio contains corporations which have been purchased by Intel and Amazon.
Sources: The Data, LinkedIn, Enterprise Insider, Playground International
His most up-to-date startup was based in 2016 and referred to as Important, a maker of Android smartphones.
- Antonio Villas-Boas/Enterprise Insider
Important launched the PH-1 smartphone in August 2017. Gross sales weren’t stellar, and the value of the smartphone was rapidly decreased.
Sources: LinkedIn, Enterprise Insider, Enterprise Insider
In 2017, Rubin’s profession started to unravel. In November 2017, The Data reported that Rubin left Google as a result of “an inside investigation decided he had carried on an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.”
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Pictures
Reed Albergotti at The Data reported that the affair was with a lady who labored with Rubin within the Android division of Google, and that Google’s HR beneficial disciplinary motion towards Rubin.
Supply: The Data
Rubin took a depart of absence from Important across the time The Data article revealed however returned inside two weeks.
- Brian Ach/Getty
An Important spokesperson informed the Data on the time that Rubin requested a depart of absence “to cope with private issues” earlier within the month at Important’s November board assembly.
Supply:The Data, Recode
For the subsequent 12 months, Important roughly plugged alongside.
- Hollis Johnson/Enterprise Insider
In Could 2018, Important canceled plans for its subsequent smartphone and stories circulated that it supposed to promote itself; by October 2018, the corporate had reportedly minimize 30% of its workers.
On the identical time, Rubin was regarded as engaged on a brand new smartphone that would robotically carry out duties like texting.
Sources: Enterprise Insider, Enterprise Insider, Bloomberg
Then, The New York Instances revealed a bombshell investigation in October 2018: It reported that Google paid Rubin a $90 million exit package deal in 2014, even after discovering out that the lady Rubin had an affair with alleged that “he coerced her into performing oral intercourse in a resort room in 2013.”
- Spencer Platt/Getty Pictures
Rubin denies that allegation.
The investigation by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Katie Benner additionally reported a slew of different particulars about Rubin’s work relationships, based mostly on nameless sources. These embrace:
- “Safety workers discovered bondage intercourse movies on Mr. Rubin’s work laptop,” and Google responded by docking Rubin’s bonus, the Instances reported.
- Sources informed the Instances that he “berated subordinates as silly or incompetent.”
- He met his spouse at Google and allegedly dated a number of ladies employed at Google throughout his marriage.
- The Instances additionally reported that Rubin was certainly one of three executives accused of sexual misconduct.
Sources: The New York Instances, Enterprise Insider
Rubin’s exit package deal was sophisticated by a $150 million inventory grant awarded to Rubin by Google at Larry Web page’s advice.
The Instances additionally reported that Google’s board of administrators gave Rubin an “unusually beneficiant sum” of $150 million for a inventory grant simply weeks into his sexual harassment investigation.
Traditionally, Google cofounder Larry Web page recommends the worth of these kind of awards; the Instances was unable to confirm whether or not Web page knew about Rubin’s investigation on the time.
The Instances referred to as this large inventory grant an “huge bargaining chip” in Rubin’s negotiation of his exit package deal.
Supply: The New York Instances
Rubin’s ex-wife, Rie Hirabaru Rubin, introduced a civil-suit towards him in October 2018, accusing him of getting extramarital “possession relationships.”
Based on the Instances, Rie Hirabaru Rubin included a 2015 e mail from Andy Rubin to a different girl saying, “You may be blissful being taken care of” and “being owned is form like you might be my property, and I can mortgage you to different folks.”
Sources: The New York Instances,
The identical day the Instances investigation was revealed, Rubin tweeted that the story contained “inaccuracies” about his employment and “wild exaggerations” about his compensation.
He maintained that he “by no means coerced a lady to have intercourse in a resort room,” and referred to as the article’s allegations as “a part of a smear marketing campaign to disparage me throughout a divorce and custody battle.”
Google staff organized a worldwide walkout protesting the corporate’s dealing with of situations of sexual misconduct, one week after the Instances report.
- Stephen Lam/Reuters
Almost 17,000 staff participated. In the meantime, CEO Sundar Pichai was talking on the New York Instances DealBook convention in Manhattan.
“This anger and frustration inside the firm – all of us really feel it,” Pichai stated. “I really feel it too. At Google we set a excessive bar and we clearly didn’t dwell as much as our expectations. The very first thing is to acknowledge and apologize for previous actions. Phrases alone aren’t sufficient, you need to observe up with actions.”
Supply: Enterprise Insider, Enterprise Insider, Enterprise Insider
In January 2019, a Google shareholder sued Alphabet’s board for protecting up situations of sexual harassment by Google executives.
- Flickr/Joi Ito
The Rubin revelation was the driving pressure behind the authorized motion, the lawsuit stated.
“Due to Rubin’s significance to Google’s monetary outcomes, he was handled in a different way than different staff by Google’s Board and senior administration,” learn the lawsuit. “He was given extra deference and was lavished with compensation.”
“This lawsuit merely repeats a lot of the current media protection, mischaracterizes Andy’s departure from Google and sensationalizes claims made about Andy by his ex-wife,” stated Rubin’s lawyer Ellen Stross in a assertion to the Instances on the time. “Andy acknowledges having had a consensual relationship with a Google worker. Nevertheless, Andy strongly denies any misconduct, and we look ahead to telling his story in court docket.”
Supply: New York Instances, Bloomberg, Enterprise Insider
In July 2019, Rubin’s ex-wife accused him of operating what was described as “a intercourse ring.”
Buzzfeed was the primary to share unsealed court docket paperwork that described a lady “M” working with Rubin in a “intercourse ring.”
“M” would “comply with carry out numerous sexual acts with a number of males” that might be filmed for “the enjoyment of Rubin and different males,” after which level “off-camera” she would have intercourse with Rubin, these court docket paperwork allege.
Based on Buzzfeed, the paperwork are a part of a lawsuit introduced towards Andy Rubin by his ex-wife in a go well with to invalidate her prenuptial settlement.
Andy Rubin’s lawyer Ellen Stross characterised Rie Hirabaru Rubin’s lawsuit as a “garden-variety household legislation dispute involving a spouse who regrets her resolution to execute a prenuptial settlement” in a press release to Buzzfeed.
Supply: BuzzFeed, Enterprise Insider
Rubin stored a low profile till the autumn of 2019, when he tweeted out photographs of what seemed like a protracted, slender smartphone. Important confirmed on the time that it was engaged on a brand new gadget referred to as Challenge Gem.
Supply: Enterprise Insider, Important
However simply 4 months later, Important has introduced that it’s shutting down for good. “Regardless of our greatest efforts, we’ve now taken Gem so far as we will and regrettably haven’t any clear path to ship it to clients,” the corporate wrote in a weblog submit. “Given this, we now have made the tough resolution to stop operations and shutdown Important.”
- Brian Ach/Getty Pictures
The corporate stated its unique telephone, the PH-1, will hold working, however the telephone received’t obtain extra updates.