Andy Rubin was reportedly paid $9 million to leave his own venture firm

What you need to know

  • A new report reveals that Andy Rubin was paid $9 million to leave Playground Global back in May.
  • Playground Global is a venture firm that Rubin founded In 2015.
  • Rubin "no longer has any economic interest in or any ongoing roles at Playground Global or the related funds."

Earlier this week, Essential founder — and Android creator — Andy Rubin found himself in the spotlight for the first time since reports of sexual misconduct surfaced almost a year ago. Just a couple of days after Rubin teased the awkward-looking Essential GEM phone, a new report indicates that he was paid millions of dollars to leave his own venture firm.

According to BuzzFeed News, Andy Rubin was paid around $9 million to leave Playground Global back in May. Rubin founded Playground Global in 2015 and used it to fund the creation of the first Essential Phone.

Per internal documents from Playground Global that BuzzFeed acquired:

Effective May 31, 2019, Playground Global ended our business relationship with Andy Rubin. While Andy is still a good friend of Playground, he no longer has any economic interest in or any ongoing roles at Playground Global or the related funds.

While Rubin's departure from Playground occurred months ago and the exact reason for him being let go is unclear, having another instance of Rubin getting paid millions of dollars to quietly leave a company feels all too familiar to his position at Google.

Back in October 2018, a New York Times report revealed allegations against Andy Rubin during his time at Google. Rubin reportedly coerced a female employee into oral sex, and after Google discovered the employee's complaint to be credible, Rubin was asked to leave Google and met with a $90 million "exit package."

That's not to say that Rubin left Playground for similar reasons, and him being a founding member of Playground indicates that he likely had some input in the $9 million payout to leave. Even so, it all feels a little too familiar and a little bit dirty.

The document form Playground announcing his departure (unsurprisingly) makes no mention of any of the recent drama.

Andy, who has an unparalleled track record in the mobile industry, has been devoting all his energy to our portfolio company, Essential, since early 2019. Andy will continue as CEO of Essential. Essential's success will have a significant impact on Playground Ventures I and Playground Global.

On October 8, Andy Rubin took to Twitter following months of silence to share images and a short video of Essential's new "GEM" smartphone. It has a radically new form factor, with a design that looks more like a TV remote than anything else.

Rubin's departure from Playground doesn't appear to have any direct impact on the GEM phone, but it does add another talking point to mounting controversy surrounding the long-hailed father of Android.

Google buried 'credible' sexual misconduct claims against Andy Rubin

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

10 Comments
  • In this case, being the second story with him could seal the fate of any future essential phone, outside of those who get it for half off when it doesn't sell.
  • Does it matter though he has money to live off of
  • He's a scumbag. I'll never buy any products associated with him.
  • That is one creepy looking mofo! But anyways...booohooo for him, golden parachute doesn't quite begin to cover the amount of money he got for his "pain and suffering"...
  • Could that $9 million just be him getting his investment back?
  • Here's a good guy 😬
  • So he got oral AND $90 million...!! I know which I'd take....
  • This is almost becoming a gay p*** site. With all the latest gossip - which is sad and a bit satirical funny...
  • You could also say the company let him go because of his previous issues or allegations and wanted to drop him like a hot potato because he was / is / possibly bad for PR...
    Correct?
    Now show me some informative journalism and not speculation ...
    Take a chance and have some true journalistic values... And I mean the good ones, not the bad ones.
  • If this is what - Android - as a general rule brings to the community - yeah I don't want to be a part of it.