New details emerge about Google payouts to execs accused of harassment

  • Top executives at Google and an influential board committee approved a $150 million stock grant to Andy Rubin, a former executive accused of sexual harassment.
  • They also approved a payout to Amit Singhal, accused of similar misbehavior, that ended up amounting to $15 million.
  • The information was included in a newly unredacted complaint, part of a shareholder lawsuit filed in Santa Clara, Calif. court. Both men have denied the accusations.
Google employees walked off the job in New York to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct allegations. 
Ruth Umoh
Google employees walked off the job in New York to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct allegations. 

Top executives at Google and an influential board committee approved settlements to two former executives who had been accused of sexual harassment, providing more insight into claims of a sexual harassment cover-up at the company that sparked widespread protests among Alphabet employees last year.

The information was included in a newly unredacted complaint, part of a shareholder lawsuit filed in Santa Clara, Calif. court.

The allegations include claims that former Android head Andy Rubin and former senior search vice president Amit Singhal were paid large sums after incurring claims of sexual harassment from colleagues.

According to the complaint, Google's Leadership Development and Compensation Committee approved the payouts, including a $150 million stock grant to Rubin, as well as a payout to Singhal that ultimately amounted to $15 million. Rubin did not receive the $150 million, as he left before the shares vested, but later received a $90 million severance package, which has previously been reported.

A spokesperson for Rubin told CNBC in October 2018 that the executive left "on his own accord," has never been told of any misconduct at Google and that "any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual."

In 2017, Singhal denied the charge of sexual harassment in a statement sent to Recode. Singhal was later fired from Uber, where he served as a top engineering executive, for not disclosing the allegations.

Neither could be immediately reached for comment on the unsealed complaint.

"There are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately at Google. In recent years, we've made many changes to our workplace and taken an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority," a Google spokesperson said.

Correction: Andy Rubin was granted a $150 million stock grant before he quit, but that grant never vested. He received only the $90 million severance package. The story has been corrected throughout to remove references to the $150 million grant, which was not paid.