A Google shareholder has sued the company’s leadership, which includes company’s executive officers and board of directors, over allegations that the company approved a multi-million dollar exit package for an executive who was accused of sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit has been filed by a shareholder, James Martin over allegations that Google gave hefty severance packages to executive Andy Rubin, creator of Android mobile operating system and Amit Singhal, head of Google’s search unit (til 2016), despite the fact these two were accused of sexual misconduct. According to The Verge, the lawsuit is demanding the inclusion of three new directors in the parent company’s board while urging an end to the “dual-class voting structure” which to no one’s surprise, reduces the power and influence of Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brian.
According to the lawsuit:
“Rubin was allowed to quietly resign by defendants Larry Page and Sergey Brin after an internal investigation found the allegations of sexual harassment by Rubin to be credible”
The statement further said that Rubin was also involved in human sex trafficking at Google.
“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.”
Rubin was paid $90 million after Larry Page asked for his resignation over allegations that Rubin forced a female employee to perform unethical activities in a hotel room in 2013. Amit Singhal was also forced to step down as Uber’s senior vice president of engineering in 2017 after the ride-hailing service found out that Singhal was allegedly accused of sexual harassment while employed at Google.
Things seem pretty bad for Google at the moment. The company has had a tough 2018. The search engine stirred some controversy when some confidential news got leaked that Google finally reached an agreement with the Chinese government to make a heavily censored version of ‘Google search engine’. However, Google employees reacted aggressively towards this decision and entered into a public protest against the search giant’s efforts to enter into the Chinese market.
In November 2018, Google employees walked out in protest of sexual misconduct handling in the organization. These allegations come at a time when politically hostility in the USA is on an all-time high. Several prominent figures in the industry ranging from political personalities to entertainment figures have been fired and arrested over sexual misconduct cases in the light of “MeToo” movement. It’s safe to say that these allegations have deeply tarnished Google’s reputation as a safe workplace for employees.