Google shielded, Andy Rubin, accused of sexual-harassment

Business

26 Oct 2018

Google shielded 'Father of Android' Andy Rubin after sexual-harassment allegations

Andy Rubin, popularly known as 'Father of Android', exited Google in 2014, with the then CEO Larry Page wishing him best for his future.

Now, an NYT story has brought to fore alarming details about his exit. Rubin was accused of sexual misconduct by an employee, and the tech-giant asked for his resignation.

But not before giving him a $90 million exit package.

Action

Apart from Rubin, Google protected two others accused of misconduct

Apart from Rubin, Google protected two others accused of misconduct

The report highlighted Rubin's wasn't the standalone case. In the last decade, the US-based company protected two other employees who faced similar charges.

In both the cases, the senior employees were ousted but paid millions.

The idea, NYT reported, was to protect its own interests for the company. Google avoided messy legal fights and also ensured the employees don't work for rivals.

Rubin's rise

After Rubin built Android, his position in Google became unique

Rubin joined Google in 2005 after the company acquired his start-up Android for $50 million. He then built Android, its popularity and success ensured he had an edge over other senior employees.

But Rubin had another reputation. He saw women outside marriage, a fact his now-divorced wife Rie Rubin accepted.

She filed a civil suit against him and they were divorced in August.

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Misconduct

Rubin met women in hotel room, harassed her

Rubin met women in hotel room, harassed her

During that time, Rubin started seeing a woman he knew from work. In 2013, she wanted to cut all ties with him but was worried it would affect her career.

She agreed to meet Rubin in a hotel room, where he allegedly coerced her into oral sex. The relationship ended soon.

It was only in 2014 that she filed a complaint in Google.

Payout

Google paid Rubin a lot of money

During Google's investigation, Rubin denied the charges. But many opined the relationship was inappropriate, leading Page to decide that Rubin had to go.

He was paid a hefty amount: $2.5 million a month was paid for the first two years and $1.25 million per month was given for the following two years.

The last payment is due for next month.

Defense

Have never coerced a woman, says Rubin in defense

Have never coerced a woman, says Rubin in defense

Just as the accusations blew the lid off treatment of women in the tech giant, Rubin denied the allegations.

His statement read, "I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign by my ex-wife to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle."

Meanwhile, Google says it takes such charges seriously.

Google's statement

Facing flak, Google talks about making workplace better

Eileen Naughton, Google's Vice President for People Operations, said the company has taken a hard stand.

"In recent years, we've taken a particularly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority," Naughton said.

Soon, CEO Sundar Pichai released an email to all saying 48 employees, including 13 who hold senior positions, were fired in last two years over sexual harassment charges.

Google's cover up ensures women don't speak up: Employee

"When Google covers up harassment and passes the trash, it contributes to an environment where people don't feel safe reporting misconduct," said Liz Fong-Jones, a Google engineer for more than a decade. She added paying men and pushing women aside was worse.

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