Google agreed $135m in payouts to execs accused of sexual harassment

Further details emerge of multimillion-dollar payouts to Andy Rubin and Amit Singhal

Google HQ

Google has confirmed it agreed to pay $135 million to two former executives accused of sexual harassment.

The former senior search VP, Amit Singhal, was initially offered $45 million by the company, triple the amount he actually ended up walking away with, according to The Verge. Singhal's payout was reduced to $15 million because he joined a rival company (Uber).

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This is in addition to a newly unsealed shareholder lawsuit, spotted by CNBC, that says the former head of Android, Andy Rubin, allegedly received an offer of $150 million in stock grant. It's reported that he allegedly used this to negotiate his $90 million in severance pay.

Rubin, the creator of the popular Android mobile operating system, left Google in 2014, but it was later revealed in the New York Times that he'd received a hefty payout despite being accused of sexual harassment. The reports led to protests on Google's campus last November.

Interestingly, Rubin's $90 million severance package automatically cancelled out the $150 million stock grant, so he didn't receive both, as was originally reported. But he did get $90 million and Singhal received $15 million - a combined $105 million, not far short of the $135 million Google initially offered.

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Their payments were approved by Google's leadership development compensation committee, according to the suit. It alleges that other Google executives allowed Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt to influence the decision to pay Rubin and Singhal.

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Google's handling of sexual harassment cases has become a real problem for the tech giant as more and more details are being reported. The company has tried to mask over the problem and assure its workers it believes in equality, but the large sums it paid and agreed to pay male executives accused of sexual harassment are somewhat undermining any remedies the company tries.

In the suit, an anonymous Google employee is quoted as saying: "When Google covers up harassment and passes the trash, it contributes to an environment where people don't feel safe reporting misconduct. They suspect that nothing will happen, or, worse, that the men will be paid and the women will be pushed aside."

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