Google executive leaves after sexual harassment allegations

Google executive leaves after sexual harassment allegations

Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologized to employees on Tuesday following a damning New York Times article that detailed how the company’s leadership gave exit packages or turned a blind eye to male executives accused of sexual misconduct.

In a company-wide email first reported by Axios, Pichai said he realized his previous apology after the report’s publication was not enough.

“So first, let me say that I am deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees,” Pichai wrote. “Larry [Page] mentioned this on stage last week, but it bears repeating: if even one person experiences Google the way the New York Times article described, we are not the company we aspire to be.”

The Times story reported that Google had given Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system and a high-level executive at the time, a $90 million exit package when he resigned following an investigation into an allegation he coerced an employee into performing oral sex on him in a hotel room in 2013.

Axios also reported on Tuesday that one of the executives named in the article who was accused of harassment, Richard DeVaul, had resigned.

A spokesperson for Google confirmed Axios’s reporting.

Google executive Rich DeVaul has left the company amid sexual harassment allegations, Axios reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. 

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DeVaul, a director of Google parent company Alphabet's research and development unit X, was included in a New York Times investigation looking into sexual misconduct allegations surrounding three Google executives. 

The report primarily focused on Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile platform, but also featured a female job applicant who publicly accused DeVaul of having propositioned to her while she was applying for a job with the company.

The applicant, Star Simpson, told the Times that during her interview DeVaul had described his relationship with his wife as being "polyamorous" and invited Simpson to the Burning Man festival the following week.

Simpson went, bringing her mother and conservative clothing, expecting an opportunity to talk about the job, according to the Times.

But when she got to DeVaul's encampment he asked her to remove her shirt and offered a back rub, which she refused, the newspaper reported.

A few weeks later Google told her she did not get the job.

DeVaul apologized for an “error of judgment” in a statement to the Times.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, told the Times that they had taken "appropriate corrective action" on DeVaul but that he had not been removed from X.

According to Axios, DeVaul left the company early Tuesday without an exit package.

Pichai assured his employees that Google had taken a tougher approach to workplace harassment, saying no employees or executives pushed out over sexual harassment allegations in the past two years were given exit packages.

“I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel,” Pichai wrote. “I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society … and, yes, here at Google, too.”