Google buried 'credible' sexual misconduct claims against Andy Rubin [update: Rubin responds]

Andy Rubin helped shape Android from a startup project with "tremendous potential" into an operating system used by billions of devices around the world today. He was the Vice President of Android at Google for years, and left the company in 2014 to start Essential. When he left Google, CEO Larry Page thanked him and wished Rubin "all the best with what's next."

Page conveniently left out the part where he asked for Rubin's resignation after claims of "sexual misconduct" were found "credible" by the company.

A female Google employee — with whom Rubin had an affair — accused him of what a New York Times article is calling 'sexual misconduct'. Two company executives say the woman told Google that in a hotel room in 2013, Rubin coerced her into performing oral sex, claims that the company investigated and found credible.


Google then allowed Rubin to resign and has paid him $2 million a month since his departure in a $90 million dollar 'exit package', with the last installment set to pay out to Mr. Rubin next month. This is the third time Google has protected an executive accused of sexual misconduct and paid them millions on their way out the door, but the amount paid to Rubin is much higher than previous cases.

This is the first time we've heard about the payments surrounding Rubin's departure, but not the allegations that facilitated it.

When the misconduct claims were first reported by The Information a year ago, Rubin took a very brief absence from Essential while denying the allegations, saying through his spokesperson Mick Sitrick that any relationship he had while at Google was consensual. Another Rubin spokesman repeated these denials, telling the New York Times "any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual and did not involve any person who reported directly to him."

That Google found the claims credible and told no one is chilling.

This is also the first time we're hearing the severity of the claims against Rubin. While the New York Times consistently refers to the claims as sexual misconduct, coercing a person to engage in a sexual act is the literal textbook definition of sexual assault. That Google found those claims credible and chose not just to not tell anyone, but to pay Rubin tens of millions of dollars it has no legal obligation to is chilling.

Google logo

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and VP of People Operations Eileen Naughton sent out an email to Googlers in response to the story today. It highlights some of the changes Google has made in the last two years, including expansions in avenues for reporting, the strengthened requirement of all VPs and Senior VPs to disclose any relationship with a co-worker, and the number of employees terminated for sexual harassment (48 employees, including 13 senior managers or above, with none receiving a exit package).

However, with horror story after horror story of Google protecting senior employees credibly accused of deeds that can only be described as evil, one has to wonder if the company's infamous old motto had an unspoken ending: don't be evil to men.

Update: Andy Rubin responded to the allegations a few hours after the New York Times story was released, refuting the claims of the severity of the misconduct and taking issue with both the reporters' perception of the situation and Google employees' accounts of the situation. He also claims that the statement of a $90 million exit package were "wild exaggerations."

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

  • God Bless Murica
  • I like making fun of the yanks as much as anyone, but I'm pretty sure this same crap happens everywhere. People are just gross.
  • True this happens everywhere, however not everywhere would be paying someone $90 million either.
  • Silicon valley, Arkansas, probably others
  • I suspect you'd be surprised... And possibly disappointed by humanity.
  • Nothing about humanity disappoints me in 2018 anymore.
  • You have to ask, what was she wearing?
  • I don't think a normal person would consider asking that.
  • It doesn't matter in any way whatsoever what she may have been wearing
  • Why would anyone ever have to ask that? Good f'n god.
  • "you dress your intentions" lmao, still that sucks and it's dumb
  • I feel inclined to post, but I'm kind of speechless. Makes me sad, being a loyal Android user.
  • True indeed. But he gets paid millions of dollars what does the victim get?
  • Real question is: Was there actually a victim?
  • You don't necessarily have to read the article, but you should at least read the title.
  • Maybe he did maybe he didn't. Not defending him but at the same time there are those types of woman who like to get back at men when things don't work between them, felt used by them and or etc. And of course there are men who in a higher position take advantage of that.
  • Did you gloss over the word "credible"? *eye roll*
  • Men are all frogs. All of us. No matter how many times we are kissed, still frogs. Not a knight in shining armor in the bunch. Still if I were that young lady's dad I'd have to ask so why the heck did you go to a hotel with him?
  • As a man, I can say with 100% certainty that I am not a frog. I don't even like to swim, and I definitely can't breathe underwater.
  • Neither can frogs. Correction: Although primarily air breathers frogs can breath through their skin underwater.
  • See? If I were a frog I would have known that. Case closed.
  • Pretty sure that went over your head :D
  • Then we have something in common, because I'm pretty sure my response went over yours XD
  • Exactly. If you went to the hotel room with him, I am sure she knew what was going to happen. Women are dangerous, men are gross. That is what it is.
  • No
  • Good thing they got rid of that don't be evil slogan. Google is nothing more than a large company doing whatever it can for max profits regardless of anything else and they clearly have a boys club they will take care of no matter what. Hopefully essential is out of business soon. Though, I wouldn't be surprised if Google bought it from him.
  • The idea of someone in a position of power not only having their despicable behaviour covered up but also being rewarded for it is disgustingly unsurprising. Hell, Rubin could easily be a future presidential candidate! This world...
  • I going to stop using Google+ in protest.
  • Right on! I'm going to stop using Allo in protest!
  • Is it really an affair if someone is coerced into sexual acts?
  • The two aren't mutually exclusive. People are sexually assaulted by long-term relationship partners all the time.
  • Excited to see Trey Gowdy tear Sundar a new one.
  • Eh... This is the first I'm hearing/reading of this allegation... which is exactly what it is... Anyway... People instantly jump to 'omg scum bag' or 'omg I can't believe he did that!'... which to me, is scummy and unbelievable... Jeez people... Give a human being a break... 'innocent until proven guilty' is SUPPOSED to be our judicial philosophy wasn't it? All I've read so far, is that some guy and some girl went to a hotel together and there was a possible 'oral encounter'. Who knows if it was mutual, or not. WE don't know. ONLY they do. And as with most women, sadly... This could just as easily been a case of spite/revenge. Maybe the girl liked him and when he refused to break it off with the wife, or refused to do stuff with her, she went out and made this allegation. It wouldn't be hard to make it believable... As Jimmy Hallmark stated: "Men are all frogs. You can kiss them all you want but they'll never turn into a prince" (paraphrased... obviously people....) So all it would take, is a SINGLE 'woman scorned' to ruin any male's reputation/lively hood. Just whisper 'rape' or 'he made me do this' once, and BOOM its wild fire and that poor person's life is ruined... You don't see this happening the other way around now do you? So even though I know almost 'nothing' about the whole situation, I will say that I choose to not believe it. I've seen WAY too many instances of women realizing just how much power they TRULY have in this "World Ran By Men", and take advantage of it to ruin people's lives.
  • Bravo! It was perfectly ok to paraphrase my mixed metaphor.
  • Maybe you should read some newspaper articles where they quote the man's own words about his relationships. This one is leaving out a lot.
  • A woman can bite your prick off if you try to orally r@pe her. This is a weak allegation. She said she was coerced, which hints that I was mutual, but she's regretful cause "reasons."
  • And what happens to the woman after she bites? I'm sure you'll disagree, but i don't think it's much of a stretch to believe that if someone is willing to rape you, they also wouldn't have too much of a problem bludgeoning your skull with the nearest heavy object. You can sew a dick back on, you can't successfully scoop someone's brain back into their head. You should probably look up the word "coerce".
  • Looks like you also glossed over the word "credible". Good god, men suck.
  • HikariNoKitsune - "Just whisper 'rape' or 'he made me do this' once, and BOOM its wild fire and that poor person's life is ruined... You don't see this happening the other way around now do you?" Because men usually don't report it. I know I don't, and If I wrote out a list of "harassments" it would be several pages long, including more than one female boss and several coworkers. None of them I considered significant enough to report because I could just walk away without consequence. Even when I was cornered in a closet or pinned against the wall, I could just gently push past them and go on with my day. I think the only situation that did make me uncomfortable is when I was scheduled for a doctor's appointment after hours. I thought it was because they were busy, but then the rest of the staff leaves and locks the doors. I was on the exam table before I realized the doctor and two nurses had plans for me, but her conscience got the upper hand and she backed down, apologizing. She sent me a letter afterwards and closed her practice, and I didn't see anything beneficial in reporting. However think about the situation being reversed: a woman with most of her clothes off surrounded by three men in a locked medical office. She would definitely be afraid, maybe even for her life, and I doubt the men would change their mind after setting things up that way.
  • They should have at least cut his package. Harassment and coercion are two different things, and if harassment means no exit package, then coercion (persuading someone to do something by using force or threats) should have been worse. By the way, I agree with Real0395: it does not matter what she was wearing. A woman passed out and naked would not be taken advantage of by a man with integrity. A man with integrity would not threaten a woman into having sex. I was not there and don't know what she was wearing or how she was acting, but let's not assume the victim is guilty. The man has the power to walk away in most situations, even if the woman is the aggressor (I know from personal experience), but the woman does not always have that option.
  • It's usually the women's fault. They were them self up and they know what they are trying to get. Most women will do anything to get ahead. Once it doesn't work out or they see any opportunity they cry assault.
  • Waiting with bated breath.
  • Dude! 🙎 When someone says "it's women's fault" or regurgitate stuff like "most women...", that means that their mom, aunts, wife, grandma and daughter are part of whatever is being said. 🤬 You should think before you post.💩😶
  • Same as when they say most men. Touche, unless you've been living under a rock the past few years. People are believing less women because more women are weaponizing #BelieveAllWomen It is really eroding at the integrity if the movement.
  • I vote this as troll bait comment of the year.
  • Looks like you're the third man to gloss over the word "credible".
  • So I guess coerced and forced are the same thing?
  • Coerced into performing oral sex. Also known as: "He got game." Regret is not credibility. They had an affair. She probably thought he was going to choose her, but didn't. People lie all the time, particularly in these bitter love triangle situations. We don't know half of the true story.
  • I feel very sorry for the women that have been unfortunate enough to cross your path.
  • Actually what he says is very true and I feel sorry for people with narrow minds that jump to conclusions without knowing more facts.
  • It's pretty clear that many commenting on this article just glossed over the word "credible". Google found her allegations credible yet kept quiet about this and still paid Rubin $90 million. The world we're living in where women get sexually assaulted and the men who assault them get elevated into higher positions absolutely sucks.
  • Define "credible". You keep saying that everyone who disagrees with you and doesn't automatically believe the woman must have glossed over this word. Credible allegation means that it is possible it happened. Possible. Nothing else. It certainly does not mean that someone was proven guilty. Not in America, not in any sensible country where people have a right to defend themselves in court. If this really happened and it looks credible then why didn't she report it to police? Why only the employer? Simple because employer can and often does ostracize and ruin lives of people without proof. And if she went to police she would actually have to show that he's guilty
  • The comments on this thread are scaring me.... I hope you are all more decent in real life than your comments come across 😩
  • Stop being a wimp is where I would start.
  • And you are, what, a REAL man?
  • Agreed.
  • Is this #metoo movement still a thing? You had your month of glory, now move on to the next one
  • Girls dress like skanks, their breasts hanging out, have a few drinks, go up to another man's hotel room, suck a guy off, their husband finds out, then they claim the victim, and then they want $$$. Hey, #metoo
  • What to expect from google. Google plus leaks then this. They are a Facebook too. Or uber. Not more decent. We should reward good people. Not horrible people who does great work. Just because someone is accomplished, they can be a jerk. What a world.