Last week, details emerged of how Google shielded Andy Rubin and other prominent executives accused of sexual misconduct. CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Larry Page have since responded internally, but Googlers are planning to further voice their discontent at the golden parachutes often given to these ex-Googlers with a women’s walk.
The New York Times last week reported on how executives like Andy Rubin were often able to leave quietly — or amid praise with reputations intact — after credible allegations of sexual misconduct. The piece focussed on the father of Android and his “inappropriate relationships,” detailing some of his alleged lewd behavior.
While Rubin and other executives were occasionally penalized, their exits from the company often obscured the reason for the departure. In Rubin’s case, he was given a $90 million exit that is still paid to this day.
Last week, Sundar Pichai sent an email after the NYT revelations, detailing how the company is “dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace.”
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.
Meanwhile, Larry Page at a company-wide meeting apologized for his actions as CEO:
I’ve had to make a lot of decisions that affect people every day, some of them not easy. And, you know, I think certainly there’s ones with the benefit of hindsight I would have made differently.
Engineers at the company are still upset and plan to protest it with a “women’s walk” this week. According to BuzzFeed News, over 200 Googlers plan to join in this Thursday. Activism among Google employees is a long running tradition, with similar protests happening over other key issues in the past.
Additionally, employees are upset at how other executives named in the NYT report, like SVP of Corporate Development David Drummond and a director at X Richard DeVaul, still retain their positions.