Alphabet’s board of directors is investigating executives about how they handled claims of sexual harassment. The board will also investigate claims of other misconducts, including the behavior of the company’s chief legal officer David Drummond. Drummond has been accused of having relationships with employees. An independent subcommittee has been formed by the board to look into the matter. An Alphabet spokesperson said, “Company’s board of directors has formed a special litigation committee to investigate into shareholders’ claims.” According to news reports, a law firm has also been hired to assist with the investigation. Drummond’s extramarital affair with an employee was first surfaced in 2017 in a report by The Information.
This came a day after the outlet reported that Andy Rubin, another former executive of the company, had left the company after internal investigation reached to the conclusion he was in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. Later, Rubin cofounded the consumer electronic products startup Essential. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. However, several Google employees were infuriated when then got to know through a New York Times investigation that Rubin negotiated a USD 90 million severance pay package while parting of the ways. But he was not the only Google executive who was by the tech giant after being accused of sexual harassment.
Amit Singhal, former senior search vice president, was also accused of sexual harassment. He decided to leave the company while the investigation was underway. Singhal had denied any wrongdoing and was given a payout of around USD 50 million. He worked with Google for 15 years. In both cases, severance payouts were approved by Google’s Leadership Development and Compensation Committee. Investors Ram Shriram and John Doerr, along with GIlead Sciences CFO Robin Washington are at the helm of the committee at present. Washington was brought onto Alphabet’s board in April this year. Meanwhile, several employees have accused Google of not doing enough to stop sexual harassment cases off late. A former employee took to twitter in 2015 to announce the he was harassed by the management and Google did nothing despite repeated complaints.