Google terminated 48 employees for sexual harassment in the last two years

Earlier today, The New York Times published a bombshell story about Google’s payout to Andy Rubin following reports of sexual misconduct by the Android creator.

In the wake of the piece, CEO Sundar Pichai and VP People Operations Eileen Naughton co-signed a memo sent to Google staff detailing what it deems “an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority.”

The note, which was obtained by TechCrunch via a Google spokesperson, notes that 48 people have been terminated at the company for sexual harassment in the past two years alone. That list includes 13 individuals in a senior management position or higher.

The letter notes that “none of these individuals received an exit package,” a clear reference to the $90 million reportedly paid to Rubin in $2 million monthly installments. Rubin left Google in 2014. We’ve made the full letter available below.

We have also reached out to Playground — the hardware incubator Rubin launched in 2015 — for comment.

We will update the story when we hear back.

Update: Rubin published his response to the NYT story, claiming that it contains “numerous inaccuracies” it cites comments from anonymous sources at Google that are “part of a smear campaign” against him.

The Google memo appears below:

From: Sundar

Hi everyone,

Today’s story in the New York Times was difficult to read.

We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.

In recent years, we’ve made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority: in the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above. None of these individuals received an exit package.

In 2015, we launched Respect@ and our annual Internal Investigations Report to provide transparency about these types of investigations at Google.  Because we know that reporting harassment can be traumatic, we provide confidential channels to share any inappropriate behavior you experience or see. We support and respect those who have spoken out. You can find many ways to do this at go/saysomething. You can make a report anonymously if you wish.
We’ve also updated our policy to require all VPs and SVPs to disclose any relationship with a co-worker regardless of reporting line or presence of conflict.

We are committed to ensuring that Google is a workplace where you can feel safe to do your best work, and where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately.

Sundar and Eileen