Last year, Andy Rubin triggered a worldwide strike among Google employees with a $90 million exit bonus. In May, Rubin quietly left Playground Global, a venture capital firm he founded.
In 2014, Rubin was charged with forcing a subordinate to have sex with him at Google and was later given a high severance bonus. Today, he is trying to make a comeback in front of the public through his own mobile device company, Essential Products. On Tuesday, Rubin posted a picture of Essentials new mobile phone on Twitter, his first public statement since news of his withdrawal from Google came out at the end of 2018.
These incidents caused a stir at Google, which had already dealt with several incidents of executive harassment and misconduct and provided direct evidence that Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and members of its board had deliberately tried to cover up high-level misconduct. When Rubin left, Google executives not only became aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct, but also deliberately refused to inform employees. They also praised him in his resignation statement and awarded him a $90 million quitting bonus.
Rubin left Playground with a bonus that, according to a familiar source, exceeded $9 million. According to foreign media reports, some investors and company leaders saw documents related to his departure, but not all Playgroup employees saw them.
An internal document reads: PlaygroundGlobal has terminated our business relationship with Andy Rubin since May 31, 2019. Although he is still a good friend of PlaygroundGlobal, he no longer has any financial interest in PlaygroundGlobal or related funds, nor does he continue to play any role there.
The exact reason for Rubins departure from Playground is unclear, but he still appears on the companys website under the title of founding partner. Rubin did not respond to an e-mail request for comment. A spokesman for Playground acknowledged receiving specific questions about Rubins departure, but did not respond in time.
Ellen Pao, a former venture capitalist, said: I dont think technology and the culture of venture capitalists have changed enough. We should be happy to involve those who have done bad things. We have no responsibility to prevent this from happening again.
On Tuesday, during a demonstration of Essentials new mobile phone, Rubin seemed to hint that he would publicly return to his hardware startup. Since news of his misconduct at Google and his severance, Rubin has made few statements. At the end of 2017, he left Essential because of news that he had an unfair relationship with an employee at Google. Subsequently, in October 2018, the New York Times reported that Rubin had forced a subordinate to have improper sex with him in 2013, resulting in a complaint from the companys human resources department.
However, Larry Page and Googles board of directors did not dismiss him, but protected the Android operating system inventor, announcing that he would leave Google to focus on investment and entrepreneurship, and awarding him $90 million in severance compensation, which later became the main cause of shareholder litigation. Last November, thousands of Alphabet employees went on strike from Tokyo to London and then to Mountain View, California, to protest.
After leaving Google, Rubin remained in touch with the company, which reportedly paid him $2 million a month in severance compensation. In 2015, he founded PlaygroundGlobal, an investment company and hardware incubator that initially raised about $50 million from companies such as Google, Hewlett-Packard and Redpoint Ventures, and Rubin joined them. According to Intel PitchBook, the company completed a $500 million fund in 2017.
During Playground, Rubin seemed to be the companys key person, a term used to describe the companys major dealmakers, and often one of the main reasons investors or limited partners decided to support venture companies. It is not clear whether all investors have been notified of Rubins departure.
Playground did not respond to requests for comment. Google declined to comment or to disclose whether it was still an investor in Playground funds. HP also did not respond to requests for comment.
A spokesman for Red Point Venture Capital only confirmed that Rubin was no longer in the company. They did not answer questions about when and why he left, and whether Red Point Venture Capital was still a Playground investor. According to the online profile of Red Point Venture Capital, at the end of 2017, Rubin disappeared from the companys roster around the release of his first report on the unfair relationship with Google.
Playground was relatively active until 2019, according to PitchBook. In June, the company participated in several rounds of seed financing for robotics software and gene therapy startups and invested $140 million in Relativity Space, a 3D printing aerospace company. Of the seven deals completed this year, six were quietly closed after Rubin officially left office in May.
However, Rubin is still using Playgrounds money to start Essential. According to the websites of the two companies, the two companies are closely linked. Playground invested in Essentials two rounds of financing, raising a total of $330 million, and the addresses of the two companies are the same.
It is not clear why Rubin, the founder and nominal head of Playground, left the venture capital firm, but the haze surrounding his continuing negative publicity may be one of the reasons. In the months leading up to his official departure from Playground, Rubin was dragged back to the news spotlight, when the disclosure of his Google exit plan became the focus of shareholder lawsuits against Alphabet and his executives in January. Rie Hirabaru Rubin, his separated wife, also filed tough divorces and lawsuits. Rubins wife said he cheated her into signing a prenuptial agreement, cheating her out of millions of dollars and maintaining a private sexual relationship with her.
According to the documents published in the case, Andy Rubin concealed his wifes payment from Google in 2014 and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the money to women who had an unfair partnership with him, enabling him to provide the money to other men. According to the indictment, one of the women colluded with Rubin and seemed to be running a sexual group.
According to the California High Court documents, Rubin and his ex-wife have settled the civil case. Rubins lawyer declined to comment on the settlement, and his divorce lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.
Andy has an unparalleled history in the mobile industry, and since the beginning of 2019 he has devoted all his energy to our portfolio companies, which is crucial, the statement said. Andy will continue to be chief executive of Essential. Essentials success will have a significant impact on PlaygroundVenturesI and PlaygroundGlobal.
Source of this article: Liable Editor of Cloud Hunting: Yang Bin_NF4368