Google agreed to pay two of its top executives $135million in severance packages after they were both accused of sexual misconduct, a new lawsuit has claimed.
Amit Singhal was offered $45million by Alphabet, Google’s parent firm, after he was accused of groping a colleague at a ‘boozy off-site event’ with the company.
Details of the exit package were revealed as part of a shareholder lawsuit against the company, one that followed a published report of payouts Google made to executives accused of sexual misconduct.
Previously redacted portions of the lawsuit were made available Monday, including quotes from Alphabet board committee meetings.
They come just months after thousands of Google employees staged a global walk-out after it was revealed Android creator Andy Rubin received a $90million severance package after a woman accused him of forcing her into oral sex.
Google agreed to pay executives Andy Rubin (left) and Amit Singhal (right) $135million in severance packages after they were both accused of sexual misconduct
Google investigated the accusation against Singhal and found it to be credible.
Yet the former senior vice president was not fired, but instead allowed to resign.
Singhal claimed that he was stepping down from the company in February 2016 to focus on his family and philanthropy.
He even wrote a blog post in which he promised to spend the next 15 years giving back to ‘people who are less fortunate’.
Singhal only ended up receiving $15million from Alphabet because he joined Uber, according to the Wall Street Journal.
He was forced to resign as the app’s SVP of engineering after just five weeks when the company discovered he failed to disclose the sexual misconduct allegation.
Singhal (pictured in 2013) was offered $45million by Alphabet, Google’s parent firm, after he was accused of groping a colleague at a ‘boozy off-site event’ with the company
The unsealed court filing revealed that on top of his $90million severance package, Rubin also received $150million in stock options.
Rubin left Google in 2014 to create Playground Global, an incubator for hardware startups.
But following his exit, the sexual misconduct claim was reported to Google’s human resources department and an investigation was opened. Eventually, Google officials found the woman’s claim to be credible.
Rubin was later asked to resign by Google’s co-founder Larry Page.
The unsealed court filing revealed that on top of his $90million severance package, Rubin (pictured in 2011) also received $150million in stock options
Despite the credible claim, Rubin was reportedly paid the $90million exit package in the form of monthly payments ranging from $1.25million to $2.5million over the course of four years.
Page also initially authorized the $150million in equity compensation without approval from Alphabet’s board.
The board then gave Page a ‘rubber stamp’ approval for it eight days after allowing the payout, according to Bloomberg.
Louise Renne, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case, said the company’s own internal investigations showed there was ‘misconduct and harassment’.
‘Nonetheless, rather than just being terminated, they were terminated with hefty reimbursement and gifts,’ she added.
The lawsuit is claiming that Google ‘schemed to cover up persistent sexual harassment and discrimination’ within the company.
Thousands of Google employees in offices across the globe participated in a mass walkout in November after details of Rubin’s severance package were revealed. Pictured are employees protesting at the company’s Mountain View headquarters
It targets the board of Alphabet, charging that its members had a duty to protect the company and its shareholders from risk and reputation damage. Instead, it says, the board agreed to pay off and otherwise support male executives facing misconduct charges – opening the company to reputational and financial damage by doing so.
Co-founder Sergey Brin, venture capitalist John Doerr, investor Ram Shriram and Alphabet Chief Legal Officer David Drummond are among those named in the complaint.
Google said in a statement on Monday that there are ‘serious consequences’ for sexual misconduct at the company.
‘In recent years, we’ve made many changes to our workplace and taken an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority,’ a statement read.
Thousands of Google employees in offices from Los Angeles and New York to Dublin and London participated in a mass walkout in November after details of Rubin’s severance package were revealed by the New York Times in October.
Rubin denied the allegations that same month, claiming they were part of a ‘smear campaign to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle’.