Google paid $105 million to two executives accused of sexual harassment

Google paid a total of $105 million to Andy Rubin and Amit Singhal after they were accused of sexual harassment at the company, The Wall Street Journal first reported. This confirms The New York Times report that Google paid $90 million to Rubin and reveals Google also paid $15 million to Singhal, who left Uber after it was revealed that he did not disclose the sexual harassment allegation.

The suit, filed by shareholder James Martin, confirms the board of directors approved a $90 million exit package for Rubin “as a goodbye present to him. No mention, of course, was made about the true reason for Rubin’s ‘resignation’ — his egregious sexual harassment while at Google.”

In a statement to TechCrunch, Rubin’s lawyer denies these claims.

“This lawsuit simply repeats much of the recent media coverage, mischaracterizes Andy’s departure from Google and sensationalizes claims made about Andy by his ex-wife,” Ellen Winick Stross, Rubin’s lawyer, said. “Andy acknowledges having had a consensual relationship with a Google employee. However, Andy strongly denies any misconduct, and we look forward to telling his story in court.”

The suit goes on to describe how Singhal “was allowed to quietly resign at Google in 2016 in the wake of credible allegations of sexual harassment, and was paid millions in severance.”

In since-unsealed documents, citing documents provided by Google, the suit reveals Google agreed to pay $45 million to Singhal, but ended up paying just $15 million because he went to work for a competitor. Google initially agreed to pay Singhal annual cash payments of $15 million, to be paid 12 months and then 24 months after his exit. Google offered an additional maximum of $15 million to be paid 36 months after his exit, contingent upon him not joining a competitor.

“Because Google’s Board concealed the reasons for Singhal’s departure, he found another lucrative job,” the suit states.

Singhal was a senior vice president of search before he resigned from Google in February 2016. At the time, Singhal framed his resignation as a retirement, but the retirement lasted less than a year — Singhal joined Uber in January 2017. A month later, then-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick asked Singhal to resign after discovering Singhal did not disclose the sexual harassment investigation at Google. In an email to Bloomberg, Singhal wrote, “harassment is unacceptable in any setting” and that he wants “everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behavior. In my 20-year career, I’ve never been accused of anything like this before, and the decision to leave Google was my own.”

In November 2018, Google said 48 people had been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above. At the time, Google said none of those individuals had received an exit package. In a statement to TechCrunch today, a Google spokesperson said:

There are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately at Google. 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.

The case is 19CV343672 | Martin v. Page, et al. (Alphabet Inc., located in the Superior Court of Santa Clara. You can check out the full complaint below.