After taking a leave of absence less than two weeks ago reportedly due to “personal reasons,” Essential founder and Android co-creator Andy Rubin has returned to the company.
If you recall, it was reported that Rubin had an “inappropriate relationship” with a female colleague while he still worked at Google. The search giant reportedly looked into the situation in 2014, since it has a policy that forbids relationships between supervisors and subordinates.
Once Google’s investigation ended, the company reportedly concluded that Rubin’s conduct was “improper and showed bad judgment.” An Essential spokesperson said that Rubin was “never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct” while he worked at the company.
Regardless, Rubin took a leave of absence shortly after The Information‘s report was made public, with Essential employees being told that Rubin took a leave from the company due to “personal reasons.”
At the time, it was unknown how long Rubin would stay away from Essential. According to Recode, he has returned to his duties at Essential, but it sounds like he didn’t remain away much at all — Rubin continued his day-to-day duties at Playground Digital, a capital venture firm he founded. Playground and Essential share a physical workplace, so it’s as if Rubin didn’t take a leave at all.
Rubin’s decision to return to Essential might calm any nerves company employees might have had, particularly with the holiday season in full swing. To Essential’s credit, the company seems to be doing just fine — it has seemingly restored a solid amount of goodwill with Essential Phone owners, thanks to frequent updates and bi-weekly AMAs on Reddit that lend to some form of transparency.
As for what Essential has in store for its next smartphone, the company teased that it will be easier to repair, though that was it as far as teasers are concerned. For now, the company still plans to release Android Oreo for the Essential Phone by the end of December.