The Industry

Google Fired 48 People in the Last Two Years for Sexual Misconduct

Google responded to a New York Times investigation by noting that it had fired 48 employees over two years for sexual misconduct.
Google responded to a New York Times investigation by noting that it had fired 48 employees over two years for sexual misconduct.
Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

After a New York Times article published Thursday revealed that Google had paid $90 million to Andy Rubin, the creator of Android’s software, when he left the company in 2014 over allegations he forced an employee to perform sexual acts on him, the company’s CEO said in an email to employees that 48 people had been fired over the last two years for sexual misconduct.

The details about Rubin’s exit were part of a Times article documenting multiple high-ranking Google executives facing accusations of sexual harassment and either being allowed to remain at the company or being paid millions of dollars when they resigned or were asked to leave.

In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to the company’s staff that read, in part, “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.”

He wrote that 13 senior employees were among the 48 who had been fired as a result of changes to how the company handles such misconduct. Pichai also noted that none of the fired individuals received an exit package. The company did not dispute any of the Times’ reporting in the email to its employees.

In addition to Rubin, the Times reported that Amit Singhal, a former senior vice president who allegedly groped an employee at a party, received millions when he resigned. Both of these incidents occurred before 2017, however, so it’s possible that Google has stopped awarding exit packages to people who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct. Google had no legal requirement to provide such packages in these cases.

Google also failed to disclose the allegations as the reason why the executives departed at the time. In fact, the company reportedly went to great lengths to make Rubin’s departure seem amicable by releasing a public statement of thanks and investing in a venture firm that he founded shortly after leaving Google.