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Andy Rubin back at Essential after report of improper conduct

The Android creator ends his brief leave, says a report. The absence followed an earlier report that he'd had an inappropriate relationship while at Google.

Android creator and Essential Products CEO Andy Rubin has reportedly returned to Essential after a short leave of absence. The leave followed a report that he'd engaged in an improper relationship during his time at Google.

Rubin's return was reported Friday by Recode, which cited two people familiar with his activities and said the nearly two-week leave was taken so Rubin could deal with personal issues.

The absence came immediately after a November report by The Information that said Rubin left Google after an internal investigation found he'd had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee. At the time, Rubin's spokesperson said any relationships he'd had while at Google were consensual.

Neither Essential nor Google immediately responded to CNET's request for comment.

Rubin's leave of absence and his return come amid an avalanche of news around sexual harassment and misconduct. On Thursday, Sen. Al Franken, a champion of net neutrality, resigned his post following accusations of inappropriate behavior. And on Wednesday, Time magazine collectively named the "Silence Breakers" of the #MeToo movement its Person of the Year.

Essential made a splash when it announced the Essential Phone, but on release the device was greeted by mixed reviews. The company has since cut the gadget's price by $200, making it $499 in the US (about £370 and AU$665).

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