The New York Times has an article you should probably read today, assuming you are a follower of Google, Andy Rubin, and the story of Android. It’s not necessarily a topic that we typically dive into on Droid Life, but it’ll certainly help you form an opinion on the founder of Android, how his departure was handled with Google, and some of the culture inside of the search giant.
The basics of the story here are that Andy Rubin had multiple affairs while married and at Google. Those relationships (possibly in violation of company policies) eventually cost him his job with Google, who paid him some $90 million to leave quietly and not work for competitors. That sum was paid out in monthly installments that started at $2.5 million per month and then dropped to around $1.25 million per month. Of course, Google sure made it sound like nothing was wrong when they announced his departure from the company in 2014.
That’s not all of it, though. Here are some other notable items in the story:
- The NY Times piece suggests that Rubin was not a great boss and often berated subordinates as stupid or incompetent.
- At one point, Google security staff discovered bondage sex videos on a work computer, which cost him a bonus.
- His wife, Rie Rubin, filed for divorce in August. In the civil suit from her, she included a screenshot of an email from Rubin to a woman he had an affair with that suggested she “will be happy being taken care of,” because “being owned is kinda like you are my property, and I can loan you to other people.” He’s allegedly paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to various women.
There’s more too. There are specific sections about how Google tried to keep it all quiet and lengthy reports on various other executives and their transgressions. It’s not a good story for Google and Rubin, that’s for sure.
Andy Rubin’s spokesperson disputed the idea that he had relationships that weren’t consensual while at Google. He didn’t deny that Andy Rubin was a dick to his employees, saying that Rubin “is known to be transparent and forthcoming with his feedback.”
Be sure to follow through that link below and read the full thing for yourselves.
UPDATE: Google sent Arstechnica the following email that went out to employees–
Today’s story in The New York Times was difficult to read.
We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate, and we take action.
In recent years, we’ve made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority: in the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above. None of these individuals received an exit package.
In 2015, we launched Respect@ and our annual Internal Investigations Report to provide transparency about these types of investigations at Google. Because we know that reporting harassment can be traumatic, we provide confidential channels to share any inappropriate behavior you experience or see. We support and respect those who have spoken out. You can find many ways to do this at go/saysomething. You can make a report anonymously if you wish.
We’ve also updated our policy to require all VPs and SVPs to disclose any relationship with a co-worker regardless of reporting line or presence of conflict.
We are committed to ensuring that Google is a workplace where you can feel safe to do your best work and where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately.
Sundar and Eileen
No denials in there on the reporting.
UPDATE 2: Andy Rubin has also responded via Twitter–
2/2 to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle. Also, I am deeply troubled that anonymous Google executives are commenting about my personnel file and misrepresenting the facts.
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) October 26, 2018