From 'Android Andy' to alleged 'sex ring' leader - the rise and fall of Google exec Andy Rubin
- Andy Rubin is the creator of Android and a former Google executive.
- Rubin's career seemed to be on track - software engineering in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, founding Android, being a top dog at Google for a decade - until he was let go from Google after a sexual misconduct investigation, according to multiple news reports.
- Rubin has been accused of having inappropriate relations with a subordinate, of allegedly coercing a woman into oral sex (an allegation that Rubin denies).
- And new, unsealed court documents from a suit filed by his estranged ex-wife allege he ran what was described as a "sex ring."
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Andy Rubin's fall from grace in the tech world has dragged out over two years.
The inventor of Android - the OS used by nearly 87% of world's smartphones - has had a 30-year career in software engineering in Silicon Valley. His life seemed to be on track as one of the heroes of the modern tech world until a set of explosive news reports from 2017 to 2019 characterized Rubin as an antagonist in the #MeToo movement.
Rubin's spokesperson calls these reports mischaracterizations, telling Business Insider:
"Much of the recent media coverage mischaracterized Andy's departure from Google and parroted fictional claims made about Andy by his ex-wife in their contentious divorce dispute. He looks forward to telling his story someday," the spokesperson said.
Read on for the rise and fall of "Android Andy."
Andy Rubin was raised in Chappaqua, New York and attended Horace Greeley High School, graduating in 1981.
He attended Utica College in New York, where he studied computer science, and graduated in 1986.
Rubin's first job out of college was software engineering, specializing in robotics, at Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy in Thornwood, New York (1986-1988).
He spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland, working as a software engineer at the Société Genevoise d'Instruments de Physique (1988-1989).
But a fateful meeting with an Apple engineer in the Cayman Islands in 1989 would change Rubin's direction, sending him out West to Silicon Valley.
Rubin started as a software engineer at Apple in 1989.
He joined General Magic, an Apple spinoff working on a handheld computing device, in 1992.
Rubin followed his General Magic colleagues to WebTV as manager of communications engineering in 1995.
Rubin founded his first company, Danger, in 1999 — and it invented the predecessor to the Sidekick.
And in a life-altering career step, Rubin founded Android in 2003.
He incubated Android in the winter of 2004 at Redpoint Ventures, where he was the entrepreneur in residence.
Google acquired Android in 2005.
Rubin served as Google senior vice president of mobile and digital content for nearly a decade.
He left Google in the fall of 2014, with a public announcement from then Google CEO Larry Page that wished him "all the best."
In 2015, Rubin started his venture firm, Playground Global.
His most recent startup was founded in 2016 and called Essential, a maker of Android smartphones.
In 2017, Rubin's career began to unravel. In November 2017, The Information reported that Rubin left Google because "an internal investigation determined he had carried on an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate."
Rubin took a leave of absence from Essential around the time The Information article published but returned within two weeks.
For the next year, Essential more or less plugged along.
Then, The New York Times published a bombshell investigation in October 2018: It reported that Google paid Rubin a $90 million exit package in 2014, even after finding out that the woman Rubin had an affair with alleged that "he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013."
Rubin's exit package was complicated by a $150 million stock grant awarded to Rubin by Google at Larry Page's recommendation.
Ex-wife Rie Hirabaru Rubin brought a civil-suit against Andy Rubin in October 2018, accusing him of having extramarital "ownership relationships."
The same day the New York Times investigation was published, Rubin Tweeted that the story contained "inaccuracies" about his employment and "wild exaggerations" about his compensation.
Google Employees organized a global walkout protesting the company's handling of instances of sexual misconduct, one week after the New York Times report.
In January 2019, a Google shareholder sued Alphabet's board for covering up instances of sexual harassment by Google executives.
In July 2019, Rubin's ex-wife accused him of running what was described as "a sex ring."
Where is Andy Rubin now?
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