GOOGLE has been accused of covering up alleged sexual misconduct by the creator of its Android mobile software – by handing him a £70million exit package.
Andy Rubin was given a hero’s farewell when he left the company in October 2014, with Google chief executive Larry Page calling his contribution “truly remarkable”.
But the tech giant was said to have been aware of a woman who claimed Rubin had coerced her into performing oral sex on him in a hotel room in 2013 during an extramarital affair.
Google investigated and concluded her claim was credible, before asking for Rubin’s resignation, according to the New York Times.
They could have fired the executive and paid him nothing – but instead handed him a £70million exit package, paid in instalments of £1.5million a month for four years.
During his employment, sex and bondage videos were also allegedly found on Rubin’s computer and Google docked his bonus, the New York Times reported.
A lawsuit filed this month by Rubin’s ex-wife claimed he had multiple “ownership relationships” with other women during their marriage, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to them.
The couple were divorced in August.
Rubin was one of three executives that Google protected over the past decade after they were accused of sexual misconduct, the New York Times claimed.
Each time Google stayed silent about the accusations against the men, while paying them millions as they exited the firm – and investing in Rubin’s next venture.
The New York Times obtained corporate and court documents and spoke to more than three dozen current and former Google executives and employees about the episodes.
In another harassment case, Google was said to have paid Amit Singhal, a senior vice president who headed search, millions of dollars on the way out of the company.
Eileen Naughton, Google’s vice President, said they take harassment seriouslyLess than a year later, he became head of engineering at the ride-hailing company Uber, but was then dismissed for not disclosing his misconduct allegation. Uber and Singhal declined to comment.
Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, disputed that the ex-Google exec had been told of any misconduct at the firm and said he left the company of his own accord.
He said that Rubin did not engage in misconduct and that “any relationship that Mr Rubin had while at Google was consensual and did not involve any person who reported directly to him”.
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Eileen Naughton, Google’s vice president for people operations, said in a statement that the company takes harassment seriously and reviews every complaint.
She said: “We investigate and take action, including termination.
“In recent years, we’ve taken a particularly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority. We’re working hard to keep improving how we handle this type of behavior.”
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