According to a lawsuit, Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Larry Page gave Andy Rubin, creator of Android, a $150 million stock grant without getting any board approval. The company is accused of covering up his alleged misconduct when he left the company in October 2014. At the time of his leaving, Page said that he wished Andy the best in a public statement.
Page did get approval for the compensation package from the board committee over a week after granting the payout to Rubin. In addition to the stock grant, he also received a $90 million severance package.
Allegations in the lawsuit pull Page into the controversy that surrounds how Google handled the sexual harassment complaints against Rubin. Usually, the Alphabet co-founder stays behind the scenes and Google CEO Sundar Pichari deals with the criticism of the company culture. Inventors claim that the board failed in its duties by allowing the harassment to happen and approved the big payouts while keeping the details private. The complaint targets top committee members and executives, including the Alphabet Chief Legal Officer.
An employee had accused Rubin of sexual misconduct. The woman was having an extramarital affair when he forced her into performing oral sex while in a hotel room in 2013. Google investigated the claim and concluded that the claim was credible.
Instead of just firing him and paying him nothing on the way out, he was awarded a huge settlement and that’s what the plaintiffs are complaining about. Rubin’s settlement was paid in installments of about $2 million a month for four years. The last payment ended in November 2018. The lead lawyer has said that their own investigation showed there was harassment, but there were still large payouts.
The complaint was made public in March 2019 at a California state court in San Jose. The suit was originally filed in January, but some claims were blocked from the public.
After news of this, the company was pressured to make changes last year. Tens of thousands of Google workers walked out of work in November to protest how the company handled the sexual misconduct claims. Google has promised to be more forceful in handling these cases.