At the end of Google’s code of conduct there is a sentence that reads, “And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right – speak up,” and this week that phrase has come under scrutiny.
The New York Times yesterday published an article which claimed that creator of Android, Andy Rubin was paid an exit package of $90 million over four years. The reason for the payout? Rubin was asked to resign following accusations of misconduct that were found to be credible.
Then worst part is that according to The New York Times, Google didn’t have to pay Rubin or the other two executives that were accused of sexual misconduct in the last decade.
“Mr. Rubin was one of three executives that Google protected over the past decade after they were accused of sexual misconduct. In two instances, it ousted senior executives, but softened the blow by paying them millions of dollars as they departed, even though it had no legal obligation to do so. In a third, the executive remained in a highly compensated post at the company. Each time Google stayed silent about the accusations against the men,” wrote the publication.
The report alleges that Rubin is due for a final payment of $2 million next month.
In a letter sent to The Verge, current chief executive officer Sundar Pichai together with vice president of people operations, Eileen Naughton reacted to the article but didn’t confirm or deny the allegations made in the article.
“Today’s story in the New York Times was difficult to read,” wrote the executives.
“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,” they added.
The pair say that in the last two years 48 people were terminated for sexual harassment including 13 people in high-ranking or management positions. The firm says that none of these individuals received an exit package.
While Pinchai and Naughton say that Google’s culture has changed the fact remains that the firm has paid Rubin $2 million a month since his exit in 2014.
Google is going to have to work hard to restore confidence in not only the eyes of the public but the eyes of its employees as well.