Google reportedly paid $45M to former exec accused of sexual harassment


Google Walkout Me Too Protest

Google employees around the world staged a coordinated walkout in November to protest the company’s handling of the sexual harassment allegations.


James Martin/CNET

Google’s board of directors agreed to pay as much as $45 million to a former top executive who left the company after being accused of sexual harassment, according to a revised shareholder lawsuit.

The previously undisclosed sum was part of the exit package for Amit Singhal, head of Google’s search unit until 2016, according to an allegation in the lawsuit unsealed Monday and seen by the New York Times. The lawsuit, originally filed in January, alleges the company concealed sexual misconduct allegations against former executives.

Google also awarded former executive Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile operating system, a $150 million stock grant when he left the company in 2014 following a separate sexual harassment complaint, according to the lawsuit. Google co-founder Larry Page asked for Rubin’s resignation following an allegation Rubin coerced a female employee into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to a New York Times report in October. 

Singhal resigned from Google in 2016 after reportedly being accused of sexually harassing a female employee in a different department at Google. He stepped down as Uber’s senior vice president of engineering in 2017 after the ride-hailing company discovered he’d been accused of sexual harassment while he was employed at Google.

Both Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations.

“There are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately at Google,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “In recent years, we’ve made many changes to our workplace and taken an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority.”

The lawsuit comes during a period of prominent figures in industries ranging from politics to entertainment being toppled by revelations of sexual harassment or sexual assault. In the tech industry, companies like Uber have wrestled with accounts of work environments fraught with varying degrees of sexual harassment.

In November, Google employees around the world staged a coordinated walkout to protest the company’s handling of the sexual harassment allegations. The walkout’s organizers said more than 20,000 full-time workers and contractors participated in the Nov. 1 protest.



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