Hours after it emerged that Google had promoted sexual harassment in its organisation, the tech giant issued an extraordinary email stating that it had sacked 48 people, including 13 senior managers, over claims of sexual misconduct in past two years.
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo, co-signed by Eileen Naughton, vice president of people operations. It said that none of these individuals ‘received an exit package.’
The new development came just hours after New York Times reported on Thursday that Google paid Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile operating system, $90 million in as an exit package after he left the company in 2014 over an allegation of sexual misconduct.
In its report, the NYT had said that the woman, with whom Rubin had been having an extramarital relationship, said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to two company executives with knowledge of the episode. Worse that Google’s own investigations even found Ruben guilty and Rubin was notified prompting the then CEO Larry Page to ask for his resignation.
The NYT report further added that Google had also heavily invested in Rubin’s next project. Google top bosses were also accused of seemingly protecting employees accused of sexual harassment.
Here’s the email sent by Pichai and Naughtan:
Today’s story in the New York Times was difficult to read.
We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.
In recent years, we’ve made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority: in the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above. None of these individuals received an exit package.
In 2015, we launched Respect@ and our annual Internal Investigations Report to provide transparency about these types of investigations at Google. Because we know that reporting harassment can be traumatic, we provide confidential channels to share any inappropriate behavior you experience or see. We support and respect those who have spoken out. You can find many ways to do this at go/saysomething. You can make a report anonymously if you wish.
We’ve also updated our policy to require all VPs and SVPs to disclose any relationship with a co-worker regardless of reporting line or presence of conflict.
We are committed to ensuring that Google is a workplace where you can feel safe to do your best work, and where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately.
Sundar and Eileen