Google CEO admits company had a sexual harassment problem — says it has fired 48 employees for sexual misconduct

Key Points
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to employees in response to a report in The New York Times about sexual misconduct at the company.
  • Pichai says 48 employees have been terminated for sexual misconduct in the last two years.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.
Stephen Lam | Reuters

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 email, obtained by CNBC, was in response to a bombshell New York Times story that said Google had shielded a handful of company executives, including Android creator Andy Rubin, from sexual misconduct allegations and offered massive payouts to leave.

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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

The email is also signed by Eileen Naughton, Google's vice president of people operations.

You can read the full email below:

From: Sundar

Hi everyone,

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 Respect@ 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/saysomething. 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

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