Alphabet board faces lawsuit over alleged sexual misconduct cover-up

Lloyd Doyle
January 13, 2019

Google's board of directors and executive leadership have been accused of covering up allegations of sexual harassment against former executives.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, top, and co-founders Sergey Brin (L) and Larry Page are seen at company headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The New York Times reported that Rubin was one of two male executives who received generous exit packages despite having "credible" claims of sexual misconduct against them. "While at Google, Rubin is also alleged to have engaged in human sex trafficking - paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to women to be, in Rubin's own words, "owned" by him". While Google claimed that it had "asked" Rubin to resign in the wake of the allegations, it did its bit to hush up the incident and make his exit look amicable.

Both Mr Rubin and Mr Singhal have denied the allegations.

The minutes from board meetings show that Alphabet's directors were directly involved in behaviour that harmed the company, Martin's lawyers Ann Ravel, Louise Renne and Frank Bottini said, according to The Guardian.

They also want Google to "take necessary actions to end the hostile work environment at the company as well as its pattern of non-compliance with data laws".

The lawsuit, which was filed in the San Mateo County Superior Court in California, claims that upon investigation, Alphabet's board found the sexual misconduct claims against both the men, Rubin and Singhal, to be credible.

The employee demonstrations followed a New York Times report in October that said Google in 2014 gave a $90 million USA exit package to Rubin, who said the terms of his departure were mischaracterized. Google never disclosed the reason for his departure, though he was also paid millions in severance, according to the complaint filed on behalf of Alphabet shareholder James Martin. "Andy left Google voluntarily".

Amit Singhal, another former executive, walked away with a package after sexual harassment charges surfaced against him and David Drummond, the company's legal officer.

Mr Pichai's statement to staff last October said: "Over the past two years, we have terminated 48 people, including 13 senior managers and above for sexual harassment".

In November, Google workers staged a global walkout to protest the handling of sexual harassment cases by the company.

The lawsuit doesn't seem to be about damages, as such, but more about changing the way Google behaves in future.

Representatives of Google and John Doerr declined to comment.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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