Google reportedly paid Andy Rubin $90M despite charge of sexual misconduct

Android creator Andy Rubin

Android creator Andy Rubin


Brian Ach/Getty Images

Google paid Android creator Andy Rubin $90 million after co-founder Larry Page asked for his resignation following a sexual misconduct accusation, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

A Google employee had accused Rubin of coercing her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013. Anonymous sources told the Times that Google investigated the claim and found it to be credible.

In 2014, Rubin left the company. Since then, Google reportedly has been paying him $2 million a month for four years when it didn’t have to.

Google and Essential Products, a technology company founded by Rubin, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesman for Rubin told the Times that Rubin left Google on his own, adding that “any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual and did not involve any person who reported directly to him.”

“In recent years, we’ve taken a particularly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority,” Google’s vice president for people operations, Eileen Naughton, said in a statement to the Times. “We’re working hard to keep improving how we handle this type of behavior.”

Rubin took to Twitter late Thursday to defend himself and deny the allegations.

“The New York Times story contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation,” Rubin said in a pair of tweets. “Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign 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.”

BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac tweeted that in response to the Times report Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Naughton sent out an email Thursday saying Google is a place where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately. 

The Times story comes during a period when prominent figures in industries ranging from politics to entertainment have been toppled by revelations of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

In the tech industry, companies like Uber have wrestled with accounts of work environments fraught with varying degrees of sexual harassment. High-profile venture capitalists like Chris Sacca and Dave McClure have been unseated, as well, over sexual harassment allegations.

The Times article said that though there were reports of an inappropriate relationship, details surrounding the accusation, as well as the monetary arrangement, weren’t previously known.

Originally published at 12:36 p.m. PT

Updated at 7:25 p.m. PT with Rubin’s tweeted comments.

iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.”



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