Google Fired 48 Employees for Sexual Harassment in Last 2 Years, Its CEO Says in Internal Email

October 25, 2018, 10:39 PM UTC

Google has fired 48 employees for sexual harassment in the last two years, the company’s CEO and head of HR wrote in a companywide memo today. That includes 13 senior managers. The memo said that none of those managers received “exit packages,” a term for cash and stock negotiated in exchange typically for leaving without filing a lawsuit or other complaints.

The message came on the heels of a New York Times story that detailed allegations that Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Android, received $90 million to leave the company quietly in 2014 after the firm found credible a sexual assault allegation against Rubin by a Google employee he once dated.

The statement came from CEO Sundar Pichai, and was signed “Sundar and Eileen”—Eileen Naughton is Google’s head of human resources.

The memo attempted to reassure employees in the wake of an article that described behavior by a few senior executives, one who remains at the company, that “we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct.”

The exit package mention in the email was significant, because the Times story documented tens of millions of dollars paid to Rubin and millions to another executive.

The email also addresses an issue raised in the article about relationships by company executives that could make an employee reliant on an executive for advancement. One former Google employee, Jennifer Blakely, said she left the company after dating the firm’s general counsel, David Drummond, for three years and they had a child together. She worked in his division.

Blakely said the then-HR head effectively told her she’d need to leave the department, which she did. She left Google a year later. She and Drummond subsequently broke up, the Times reported, and Drummond’s net worth, including future commitments of equity and options, is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Rubin and Pichai had vied for control of a combined Android and Chrome division within Google, and Pichai prevailed. Google reorganized as a holding company called Alphabet in 2015, and Pichai became CEO of the Google division, which earns most of the revenue and profit at Alphabet.