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Google gave top executive and ‘Father of Android’ $90m payoff keeping sexual misconduct claim quiet

26th October 2018

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Note: This post has been moved from Latest Picks due to length of extended updates.

Google gave top executive $90m payoff but kept sexual misconduct claim quiet—report (theguardian.com).

Andy Rubin, image: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images via Guardian article
Andy Rubin, image: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images via Guardian article
Google gave a $90m severance package to Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile software, but concealed details of a sexual misconduct allegation that triggered his departure, the New York Times has reported.

The Times reporting credible claims from a female employee who said Rubin forced her to perform oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, with Google’s former CEO Larry Page asking for his resignation soon after but continuing to pay him millions of dollars in installments of $2m a month for four years and with much “I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next” praise when he left.

And according to the report it was not the first time Rubin had fell out of the company’s now retired “Don’t be evil” mantra:

Current and former Google sources told the Times, Google docked his bonus after security found bondage videos on his work computer.

Seemingly getting more cookies than “Google Guy” Matt Cutt’s missus could ever hope to bake (Wikipedia). And his interest in all things Gorean (Wikipedia) further suggested with his former wife who divorced him this year saying that he that he engaged in “ownership relationships” with several other women while they were married which in an email sent in 2015 suggested he was of the opinion that they were his property and that he could loan them to other people. Perhaps giving insight as to why the mobile OS name was picked and why it was his nickname and personal website name before, with the name Andrew and the noun Android sharing the Greek root andros, which means “man” (Wikipedia).

And it seems the “Father of Android” is not the only one who’s indiscretions have been covered up:

The Times report revealed that Google had protected three executives in sexual misconduct claims over the last decade, paying them millions while keeping silent about the allegations. One of the three remained employed by the company.

Updated 1st November 2018

Anger over the allegation leading to:

Google staff walk out over women’s treatment (bbc.co.uk).

Google staff walkout New York offices over women’s treatment
The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration—a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Said “forced arbitration” meaning disputes are dealt with internally rather than through the courts, a common contract clause in Silicon Valley no matter how high companies like Google like to fly the progressive flag.

Updated 9th November 2018

Google pledges to overhaul its sexual harassment policy after global protests (theguardian.com).

In an email to staff on Thursday, [CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai] said Google would end forced arbitration for sexual misconduct claims, revamp its investigations process, share data on harassment claims and outcomes, and provide new support systems for people who come forward.

Et cetera, et cetera, with lots of “we are sincerely sorry for that” and wooly “it’s clear we need to make some changes”.

Updated 11th January 2019

And the human resource problems in Google’s technological utopia just refusing to stay under virtual rug:

Google’s board is being sued for allegedly silencing misconduct claims against former executives (buzzfeednews.com).

Former executives in question being Gorean “Father of Android” Andy Rubin and head of Google’s core Search team for 15 years Amit “King of the Ranking” Singhal who was asked to depart in February 2016 (qz.com, Feb. 2017) after an internal review found a sexual harassment complaint against him “credible” ().

The suit, which was filed in San Mateo County Superior Court in California Thursday morning, contains minutes from board of directors meetings that detail how the tech giant dealt with employee complaints made against Rubin in 2014 and [Amit] Singhal in 2016, and how it compensated these executives when they left the company. Those minutes, attorneys for the plaintiff allege, show the board was aware of investigations into executives’ sexual misconduct and still chose to pay them millions of dollars upon their departure to the detriment of shareholders.

The plaintiff being an unnamed a Google shareholder, and as well as “legal relief” the suit seeking to end “the dual-class structure that gives supervoting powers to Google’s founder and early executives and change the company to a ‘one share, one vote’ structure”.

Among the executives named as defendants in the shareholder derivative lawsuit include Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin; departed executives Singhal and Rubin; current Google CEO Sundar Pichai; and a host of current and past executives and board members.

Perhaps hinting why Page and Brin were keen to reposition themselves as CEO and president of holding Alphabet Inc. (Latest Picks 13th Aug. 2015), of which Google is perhaps just distanced enough as leading subsidiary, in a similar manner to Microsoft’s Bill Gates have to leave leave day-to-day operations as CEO for role as “chief software architect” until 2008 and chairman of the board until 2014 to mollify antitrust litigation.

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Tags: Android, Google.

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