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Android creator Andy Rubin is back at his phone startup after allegations of an 'inappropriate' relationship at Google

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Andy Rubin led the charge for Android within Google. He left Google in 2014, and founded a smartphone startup named Essential in 2015.
  • A report surfaced in late November on The Information, which uncovered a Google complaint from 2014 alleging Rubin had an “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague.
  • He subsequently took a leave of absence from his startup, but has since returned.

Andy Rubin is back at Essential, the smartphone startup he founded to take on his former employer, Google, and Apple.

The “father of Android” took a leave of absence from Essential in late November after a report in The Information was published that concerned his time at Google. The report unearthed a Google internal complaint from 2014 that accused Rubin of having an “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague in Google’s Android division.

Rubin denied the allegation of a non-consensual relationship at Google through his spokesperson at the time and said his leave was due to “personal matters” and had been requested before the report from his time at Google surfaced.

He also contested that he was even made aware of such a complaint. “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,” Rubin’s spokesperson Mike Sitrick told The Information.

Essential launched its first product, a high-end smartphone, earlier this year.

It’s not clear what the “personal matters” were that caused Rubin to the leave of absence, or whether the leave was for a specified period of time.

Recode first reported on Rubin’s return to Essential late on Friday, citing two people close to Rubin; Business Insider has confirmed his return independently. Representatives for Rubin declined to offer an official statement.

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