Essential founder and CEO, Andy Rubin, has taken a leave of absence for what it being described as “personal reasons” following a probe into the circumstances of his 2014 departure from Google.
Rubin left Google shortly after an internal investigation found he had maintained an “inappropriate relationship” with a woman who worked under him. The woman allegedly filed a complaint with HR.
Rubin’s spokesperson Mike Sitrick denies the connection. “Any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual,” Sitrick told The Information. “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 is said to have told Essential employees about his leave of absence on Monday.
The woman who filed the complaint reportedly worked in the Android division which was run by Rubin. Any personal relationship between the two would have violated Google’s policy, wherein the company requires employees to disclose such relationships so that one of them can be moved to another division.
Rubin left the Android department in March 2013 to lead Google’s efforts in robotics, but the HR investigation is said to have taken place in 2014. That investigation concluded that “Rubin’s behavior was improper and showed bad judgement.”
Essential confirmed that Rubin stepped aside and said Niccolo de Masi, Essential’s president, would be in charge for the time being. “At our last regularly scheduled board meeting earlier in November, Andy asked for a leave of absence to deal with personal matters,” an Essential spokesperson said. “The Board agreed and our President, Niccolo de Masi, will continue to run day to day operations at Essential.”
Rubin’s leave of absence is indefinite for now.