A new report from BuzzFeed News gives details surrounding Andy Rubin’s exit back in May from a venture capital firm he founded. The VC firm — Playground Global — is a major investor in Essential, the electronics company Rubin founded after leaving Google.
According to the report, Rubin exited Playground with a $9 million payout. However, neither Playground nor Rubin will give a statement on why he left, or even if he left for his own reasons or if he was pushed out. For what it’s worth, Rubin is still listed on Playground Global’s website as “Founding Partner.”
Without any apparent reasons for Rubin’s exit from the firm, we are left to speculate that it could possibly have something to do with Rubin’s tarnished reputation after the revelations surrounding his departure from Google as well as his previous temporary leave from Essential. Both of those controversies stemmed from sexual misconduct allegations against Rubin.
In the case of his exit from Google, Rubin was pushed to resign after multiple accusations of sexual harassment as well as inappropriate relationships with fellow employees. His exit from Google came with a stunning $90 million payout, despite evidence that higher-ups at Google knew full well of his alleged transgressions.
That $90 million payday was a catalyst that caused an employee walkout at Google, which eventually resulted in the company taking actions to appease its workers’ concerns over sexual harassment policies.
Rubin’s temporary leave from Essential also was related to those alleged inappropriate relationships while he was at Google.
Today’s BuzzFeed News report, once again, does not conclude that any of these incidents have anything to do with Rubin’s exit from Playground Global. However, if they do, it would be another $9 million payday for Rubin as “punishment” for his alleged transgressions.
Recently, Rubin tip-toed back into the spotlight by revealing on Twitter that Essential is hard at work on developing a radically new kind of mobile device. Those tweets were some of the first he’s made since the Google employee walkouts.