Google has fired dozens of workers for sexual harassment in the last two years — including several high-ranking employees — according to an email sent by CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday, following a New York Times report the company “protected” a former executive that was credibly accused of sexual misconduct in 2014.
Pichai and Eileen Naughton, the company’s VP of people operations, said the company is “dead serious” about making the tech giant a safe place to work, according to a staff email shared with TheWrap by a Google spokesperson. The executives said they’ve fired 48 people in the last two years for sexual harassment. Thirteen of those workers were “senior managers and above,” according to the email.
“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,” Pichai and Naughton wrote. None of the fired workers received an exit package, Pichai and Naughton added.
The email follows a New York Times report that Android co-founder Andy Rubin, while working for Google in 2013, “coerced” a coworker into oral sex at a hotel. The woman reported the incident to HR in 2014. Shortly after, Rubin was awarded a $150 million grant from the company, although it was “unclear” if Google co-founder Larry Page was aware of the harassment claim at the time, according to the Times.
Google later found the sexual misconduct claim to be “credible,” the Times reported. Rubin was awarded a $90 million exit package, according to the Times, and was publicly praised by Page when he left the company in 2014.
Sam Singer, a representative for Rubin, told the Times Rubin did not engage in sexual misconduct and said: “any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual and did not involve any person who reported directly to him.” A rep for Rubin at Essential, his phone company, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Since 2015, Google has launched two internal organizations to combat workplace harassment, according to the email from Pichai and Naughton
Google has launched two internal organizations to combat workplace harassment since 2015, according to the email. “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,” Pichai and Naughton wrote.