Shareholders take Alphabet Inc. to task over Rubin payout

Google shareholder sues board alleging cover-up of sexual misconduct claims

Google shareholder sues board alleging cover-up of sexual misconduct claims

The lawsuit comes months after a New York Times report revealed Google allegedly paid so-called "Godfather of Android" Andy Rubin $90 million United States dollars to leave the company following sexual misconduct allegations that were levied against Rubin.

In his suit, Martin plans to show that Google lost hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in terms of payouts to executives and lost productivity due to employees around the world doing a walkout in protest, as well as damages to the company's brand reputation. "Instead, the company handed him a $90 million exit package, paid in installments of about $2 million a month for four years", the Times continued, adding that Rubin was just "one of three executives that Google protected over the past decade after they were accused of sexual misconduct".

Both Mr Rubin and Mr Singhal have denied the allegations.

"What Google did not make public was that an employee had accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct".

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. All nine directors were informed that "the allegations were credible", according to the complaint.

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".

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"This lawsuit, like much of the recent media coverage, mischaracterizes Andy's departure from Google and sensationalizes claims made about Andy by his ex-wife", Stross wrote. "Andy left Google voluntarily and, in the severance negotiations there was no mention of a harassment complaint".

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".

Employee organizers said they welcomed the lawsuits as they continue to push for further changes, including an employee representative on Alphabet's board. John Hennessy, the board chairman, and board members Ann Mather, Roger Ferguson and Diane Greene didn't respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuits claim that board minutes reveal that the payouts were approved by the members of the board. Her co-counsel, Ann Ravel, was a commissioner for the Federal Election Commission under the Obama administration. "What we have asked for are a lot of changes in corporate governance at Google, and that is really the ultimate objective of this litigation".

The case is Martin v. Page, 19-cv-00164, California Superior Court, San Mateo County (Redwood City).

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