A new report from the New York Times alleges Google provided Android creator Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package after he left the company due to an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct.
The investigation, which The Information first reported on, centred on an extramarital affair Rubin had with a female Google employee in which he allegedly coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room sometime in March of 2013.
The woman had been casually seeing Rubin and had gone to the hotel to break off the relationship. It was at that moment that the incident occurred. The relationship ended after that, but the employee waited until 2014 to file a complaint with Google’s human resources department.
The case was eventually escalated to management. Once the company determined that the claim was credible, Rubin was asked to resign. Google’s stance, at the time, was that it was impossible to prove the incident had happened, but that the relationship was inappropriate — company policy at the time required employees to disclose to HR that they had entered into a relationship so that one of them could be reassigned.
Google was not obligated to give Rubin an exit package but did so that he wouldn’t disparage the company in public or join one of its competitors.
Moreover, even after distancing itself from Rubin, Google still invested significant money in his venture capital firm, Playground Global.
Rubin’s spokesperson, Sam Singer, told the New York Times that he left Google on his own accord. Singer also said that any relationships that Rubin had at Google were consensual and were not with people who reported directly to him.
At Google, Rubin had a reputation for believing he should get his way due to his position within the company, according to sources who spoke to The New York Times. He unfairly reprimanded some employees by calling them stupid or incompetent. On top of that, a security team at Google had to remove bondage porn from Rubin’s work computer. That year Google docked his bonus, according to The Time’s sources.
Rubin’s spokesperson also denied that Rubin ever called anyone incompetent.
It’s unclear how many women at Google Rubin dated, but it’s confirmed that he met his ex-wife there, and then dated at least two other women while married, according to a group of four anonymous sources who spoke to the Times.
His ex-wife, Rie Rubin, recently sued Rubin, claiming that he had multiple “ownership relationships” with other women during their marriage, and he paid the women hundreds of thousands of dollars as well.
One text message that was revealed during the suit read as follows:
“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.”
According to The New York Times, Rubin was one of three Google employees that were protected after they were accused of sexual misconduct. One of the other instances was similar to Rubin’s scenario. The search giant distanced itself from the senior executive but paid him millions.
The third executive who is still nameless, and whose behaviour is not detailed, still has a job at Google.
In a company-wide email, Google has openly fired 48 employees for sexual harassment and 13 were senior managers and above said Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Update 26/10/2018: Andy Rubin refuted the New York Times’ claims regarding his alleged sexual misconduct in a series of Tweets. Rubin calls the allegations against him “a smear campaign to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle.”
1/2 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
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) October 26, 2018
2/2 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.
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) October 26, 2018
Update 31/10/2018: Several people at Google are reportedly organizing a “women’s walk” to protest how the company has handled sexual misconduct among its top-tier employees, according to 9to5Google.
Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, has recently voiced support for the march via an email that was reported on by a Buzzfeed News tech reporter via Twitter, and seems to be placing the company on a path to fix things.
Since The New York Times report went live, Richard DeVaul resigned and did not receive an exit package. DeVaul was part of the leadership team at Google X and was detailed in the Times report as someone who had made unwanted advances to a prospective employee.
Source: New York Times