Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to all Google employees Thursday saying the company has fired 48 people over the last two years for sexual harassment, including 13 “senior managers and above,” and none received an exit package.
The US tech giant stated chief executive Sundar Pichai in response to a New York Times report that one senior Google employee, Android creator Andy Rubin, received an exit package worth $90 million as he faced allegations of misconduct, and that Google had covered up other claims of sexual harassment.
Pichai also said there were newer tools at Google that employees can use to report sexual harassment or misconduct. Google employees can also report sexual misconduct anonymously, the email said.
Notably, while Pichai, in his letter, did not explicitly talk about the allegations about Rubin, he did say that the report was “difficult to read”. Meanwhile, Rubin, on his part, has expressed his disappointment over the report saying that it is an attempt to disparage him during his divorce. “Also, I am deeply troubled that anonymous Google executives are commenting about my personnel file and misrepresenting the facts,” he wrote in a tweet reacting to the story.
The internal letter, which had also been signed by the company’s Vice President of People Operations Eileen Naughton, said the company had adopted more stringent policies since 2015 that required all the vice presidents and senior vice presidents to disclose any relationship with another employee, even if they didn’t work in the same department or were not in a situation of a potential conflict. The letter further said the company has devised a mechanism where employees could use the company’s internal tools to report cases of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior anonymously.
You can read the full email below:
Today’s story in the New York Times was difficult to read.
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.
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: in the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above. None of these individuals received an exit package.
In 2015, we launched [email protected] and our annual Internal Investigations Report to provide transparency about these types of investigations at Google. Because we know that reporting harassment can be traumatic, we provide confidential channels to share any inappropriate behavior you experience or see. We support and respect those who have spoken out. You can find many ways to do this at go/say something. You can make a report anonymously if you wish.
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.
We are committed to ensuring that Google is a workplace where you can feel safe to do your best work, and where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately.
Sundar and Eileen