Andrew E. Rubin is an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist. Rubin founded Android Inc. in 2003, which was acquired by Google in 2005; Rubin served as a Google vice president for 9 years and led Google’s efforts in creating and promoting the Android operating system for mobile phones and other devices during most of his tenure. Rubin left Google in 2014 after allegations of sexual misconduct, although it was presented as a voluntary departure rather than a dismissal at first. Rubin then served as co-founder and CEO of venture capital firm Playground Global from 2015–2019. Rubin also helped found Essential Products in 2015, a mobile phone start-up that closed in 2020 without finding a buyer.
Rubin was nicknamed “Android” by his co-workers at Apple in 1989 due to a love of robots, with the nickname eventually becoming the official name of the Android operating system. Before Android Inc., Rubin also helped found Danger Inc. in 1999, another company involved in the mobile space; Rubin left Danger to work on Android in 2003, and Danger was eventually acquired by Microsoft in 2008.
In 2018, The New York Times published an article revealing the details of Rubin’s 2014 departure from Google – that it had been forced rather than voluntary due to credible allegations he had sexually harassed female employees, and that Google had paid Rubin a $90 million severance package to expedite the process. Google’s large severance payment attracted significant controversy