The board of Alphabet has opened an internal investigation into how the company handles claims of sexual harassment and misconduct, and forms both an independent subcommittee investigating and hiring an external law firm, according to a report from CNBC.
The investigation comes after a series of reports in the past year on sexual harassment by top officials from Google and Alphabet, including:
- Google & # 39; s chief legal officer David Drummond. Drummond appeared to have had an affair with former Google lawyer Jennifer Blakely in violation of the company's policy regarding relationships between managers and their team members. According to Blakely, the relationship resulted in a child, after which Google's HR department informed the couple that one of them would have to leave the legal department – which turned out to be Blakely, who went to the sale.
Andy Rubin, one of the founders of Android. Rubin was reportedly forced to resign in 2014 by Larry Page following allegations that Rubin had forced another Google employee to "perform oral sex in a hotel room in 2013," according to a New York Times about sexual harassment problems at Google. Rubin received a $ 90 million payout upon leaving the company.
- Rich DeVaul, the former director of Rapid Evaluation and Mad Science at the X-division of Alphabet. DeVaul was also mentioned in the Times report claiming that he had invited a potential Google rental for Burning Man and encouraged her to take off her clothes and give him a massage. DeVaul resigned shortly thereafter.
- Amit Singhal, a former senior search vice president, to whom Google confirmed that he had paid $ 15 million in resignation after being accused of sexual harassment.
CEO Sundar Pichai and Eileen Naughton (VP of People Operations of Google) responded to the New York Times unveiling last October by noting that at that time 48 employees had been fired in the past two years without dismissal and that 13 of those were "Senior managers or higher. "
Nevertheless, the continuous reports of sexual harassment have led to increased tensions with the company. 20,000 Google employees would organize a walkout in response to the Times report on November 1, 2018. Two of the organizers of that strike, Claire Stapleton and Meredith Whittaker, later reported retaliation from Google about that strike later this year. Stapleton announced in June that she had decided to leave the company completely for retribution, while Whittaker left in July to focus on her work on AI ethics, saying, "It's clear that Google is not a place where I can do this work continue. "
While Google was largely silent on the subject of each new allegation, it is easy to understand why parent company Alphabet is interested in investigating how these cases will be handled in the future.