Following the revelations of a £70 million golden parachute to Andy Rubin, a former Google executive accused of sexually harassing a subordinate, a recently unsealed complaint shows the company approved a further £34 million send-off to Amit Singhal, the company’s former senior vice president.
Filed in Santa Clara County by James Martin, a Google shareholder, the complaint confirms much of what was reported by the New York Times last October. Employee outrage over the generous packages gifted to Rubin – which also included £114 million in stock – sparked a mass walkout, which has thus far led to a few changes in how the company structures its contracts with employees. For his part, Martin’s gripe is that the payouts (and failure to disclose the reason for the departure of these executives) constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty.
The suit claims both the cash and stock grants to Rubin and that “Larry Page made the decision to approve the $150 million [£115.5m] in equity awards directly, by himself, without the prior approval or involvement of the Board or LDCC [Leadership, Development and Compensation Committee].”
Singhal, on the other hand, was accused of groping an employee in 2015 while inebriated at a “boozy” party “attended by dozens of colleagues.” He agreed to resign, an in return received a £34 million exit package and an agreement not to work for a competitor. The suit claims: “The LDCC continued its practice of covering up the real reason for Singhal’s departure by describing Singhal’s departure as follows: ‘On 26‐Feb‐16, Amit Singhal (SVP, Search) left Google to focus on philanthropic activities.’”
Singhal later took on an executive position with Uber and was dismissed after it was revealed he’d failed to disclose the investigation into his alleged misconduct. According to the newly unsealed documents, Google ultimately paid him £11 million.
“There are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately at Google,” a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo in a statement, “In recent years, we’ve made many changes to our workplace and taken an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority.”
Featured image: Jeff Chiu (AP)