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13 January 2019, 05:29 | Joann Bryant
Lawsuits filed this week demand Google change its governance and oversight
The suit, by shareholder James Martin, stems from revelations a year ago that the company awarded a $90 million (roughly Rs. 630 crores) exit package to executive Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system, even as Rubin was being pushed out over sexual misconduct.
The lawsuitclaimed that according to the minutes, the payouts for Rubin was approved by board members "since they apparently feared that if they fired Rubin for cause, he would sueGoogle for wrongful termination and all the tawdry details of sexual harassment by senior executives at Google would become public".
The suit also targets Google co-founders Page and Sergey Brin, executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Rubin, current chief executive Sundar Pichai, former human resources director Laszlo Bock, chief legal officer David Drummond, former executive Amit Singhal, and others.
News of these payouts first surfaced in late October previous year, with the two former executives including Android's creator Andy Rubin and former head of Google Search Amit Singhal.
Shareholders have filed a lawsuit against Alphabet, the parent company of Google. It seeks damages as well as improvements in Google's corporate governance policies. Despite finding the allegation credible, Google allowed Rubin to resign with a $90m exit package, the Timesreported. It wants Alphabet to let non-management shareholders nominate at least three board members, and to change voting rights to "one share, one vote" - a marked departure from the ten votes each executive enjoys per share. It is stated that while working at Google, Rubin was paying money to women that they "belonged to him".
The lawsuit comes during a period of prominent figures in industries ranging from politics to entertainment being toppled by revelations of sexual harassment or sexual assault.
The sum stems from payouts made to executives accused of sexual misconduct, lost productivity from employees around the world walking off the job briefly in November to protest the payouts and brand reputation damage.
Mr Singhal was sacked from Uber Technologies in 2017 for failing to disclose the allegations he faced at the Mountain View, California-based company, where he was the longtime head of the powerful search division. "People who are not at the top are going to receive retribution, and everyone else gets a free pass". "Andy left Google voluntarily". "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".
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