Google owner Alphabet sued by shareholder over misconduct claims

Galtero Lara
Enero 13, 2019

Among the defendants named in the lawsuit by shareholder James Martin are Google's co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as former CEO Eric Schmidt, who were all on the board's audit and compensation committees that approved the payouts.

Martin, via his lawsuit, wants to prove that Google lost hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, including the fat severance packages that were handed out to Rubin and Singhal, lost productivity from its employees around the world when the made a decision to stage a walk out protest to show their dissent towards the company's handling of sexual harassment cases in November past year and the damage to the company's reputation.

The suit comes after Google reportedly gave generous exit packages to executives accused of sexual misconduct. It was not clear at that time exactly how much the board of directors knew about the allegations or Google's decision to make the payment to Rubin.

Singhal stepped down as Uber's senior vice president of engineering in 2017 after the ride-hailing company discovered he'd allegedly been accused of sexual harassment while he was employed at Google.

Mr Singhal didn't respond to a request for comment.

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In the fall of The New York Times reported that upon dismissal he was paid $90 million, although one of the employees accused him of sexual harassment.

In his suit, Martin plans to show that Google lost hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in terms of payouts to executives and lost productivity due to employees around the world doing a walkout in protest, as well as damages to the company's brand reputation.

Amit Singhal, another former executive, walked away with a package after sexual harassment charges surfaced against him and David Drummond, the company's legal officer.

In the civil complaint, Martin and his lawyers also accused Google of an egregious double-standard, echoing a complaint raised by frustrated workers who led and participated in a massive worldwide walkout late past year. "Andy left Google voluntarily". "Over the past two years, we have terminated 48 people, including 13 senior managers and above for sexual harassment", Pichai said.

Last year, the claims prompted a series of mass walkouts by the employees of Google worldwide. "And fallout from the purported scandal led to billions of dollars in losses to Alphabet's value in the stock market, lawyer Frank Bottini said at a press conference in San Francisco". It seeks damages as well as improvements in Google's corporate governance policies.

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