In Brief

Andy Rubin: Android creator ‘paid £70m by Google’ after sexual misconduct case

Google claims it has fired 48 people over sexual harassment complaints since 2016

The founder of Google’s smartphone software Android was given a $90m (£70m) pay-off despite being involved in an alleged sexual misconduct case with an employee. 

Andy Rubin received payments of $2m (£1.6m) per month for four years after leaving the search giant in 2014, The New York Times reports. 

A year prior to his departure from Google, an employee claimed that Rubin, who was married at the time, “pressured” her into performing a sex act on him in a hotel room, the newspaper says. She filed a sexual misconduct claim in 2014, which led to an internal investigation.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Google did not refute the accuser’s complaint and told Rubin to resign. 

But to receive his exit package, the Android founder had to agree to remain silent over the issue and not work for a rival company, the newspaper says. He later launched his own smartphone company called Essential.

Responding to the New York Times story, Rubin said the article featured “numerous inaccuracies” about his employment at Google and “wild exaggerations” about his exit package.

“Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign by my ex-wife to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle,” he said. 

A Google statement posted on Twitter by Buzzfeed’s Ryan Mac says that it found the reports “difficult to read” and vowed to “review every single complaint about sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct”. 

Google also claimed that 48 people, including 13 “senior managers and above”, had been fired for sexual misconduct since 2016. None of those who had their contracts terminated “received an exit package”.

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