Though Google claims it has fired as many as 48 employees for sexual harassment, including 13 senior level executives, it certainly failed to act against some of the top executives like Andy Rubin. Rubin, who is known as the father of Android, was let go after allegations of sexual harassment emerged against him in 2014. But the company tried to sweep the allegations under the carpet, and instead gave him a hefty exit package of Rs 663 crore even though it was legally not bound to do so.
Sundar Pichai, Google Inc Chief Executive Officer, in an email to its employees on Thursday said the technology giant fired these employees in the past two years after sexual harassment allegations against them.
However, shocking as it may seem, Google gave a grand farewell to Andy Rubin in October 2014, along with a hefty exit package, even though the sexual harassment allegations against him had been proved. This helped Rubin invest millions of dollars in his next venture.
Google tried to hide the fact that a woman employee had accused Rubin of sexual harassment, a New York Times report said. After carrying out a proper investigation, Rubin was found guilty. Larry Page, then CEO of Google, asked for his resignation but also handed him the money in a monthly instalment of $2 million for the next four years.
The NYT report says Rubin was one of the three senior executives who was shielded by Google after allegations of sexual harassment cropped up against them. However, Rubin's case stood out. Apart from the sexual harassment allegations by the Google employee, his former wife also filed a lawsuit against the millionaire in August. In her lawsuit, his former wife alleged that Rubin was into 'ownership relationships' with many other women during their marriage, for which he paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars, Daily Mail reported.
His ex-wife in her lawsuit shared a screenshot of an email sent by Rubin to one woman, in which he asks her to become his "property". "You will be happy being taken care of. Being owned is kinda like you are my property, and I can loan you to other people," he said in the email, reported the Times.
Meanwhile, Google's current CEO has issued a letter to his employees, saying the company is committed to a safe environment. "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," the email said. The email, which was also signed by Google's vice president of people operations Eileen Naughton, said that company employees could use internal tools to report cases of inappropriate behaviour anonymously, reported Reuters.
In his defence, Andy Rubin put out a Tweet, saying: "The New York Times story contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation. Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle. Also, I am deeply troubled that anonymous Google executives are commenting about my personnel file and misrepresenting the facts." However, why, despite knowing that sexual allegations were proved against Rubin in 2014, then Google CEO decided to handover the severance package to him and, in fact, accorded him a grand farewell is still a mystery.