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Essential's Andy Rubin takes leave of absence after 'inappropriate relationship' allegations follow from Google

Essential head and former Android chief Andy Rubin is taking a "leave of absence" after allegations of an "inappropriate relationship" at Google have resurfaced.




An investigation published by The Information on Tuesday delves into a situation where Rubin was in a relationship with a subordinate. Allegedly, the woman worked in the Android division with Rubin —and the relationship violated Google policy which required that the couple report the relationship so they can be assigned to different divisions.

The report cites three people "familiar with the matter." However, the specific nature of the complaint filed by the woman weren't detailed by the sources.

However, the accounts did note that Rubin was both made aware of the investigation, as well as conclusions discussed with Rubin in 2014. Rubin was reportedly told that his behavior not only violated company policy, but was "improper and showed bad judgement" according to The Information.

Rubin left Google in 2014, reportedly shortly after the investigation concluded. Publicly, Rubin left because he was frustrated at the time it would take to advance Google's robotics department.

"Any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual," Rubin spokeman Mike 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's leave of absence is said to be for "personal reasons" unrelated to the report.

Rubin's Essential Phone was announced on May 30. It shipped on Aug. 25 with generally positive reviews, but extraordinarily poor repairability, far worse than that of the iPhone.

At launch, the phone cost $699. The retail price has been cut to $499 since and was universally on sale for $399 on Cyber Monday. Early purchasers were given the opportunity to get a $200 "friends and family" code to be used on other Essential products.