By Jim Roberts
Google acknowledged on Thursday that it had fired 48 people over the past two years for sexual harassment, including 13 senior managers or higher.
CEO Sundar Pichai disclosed the terminations hours after the New York Times reported that the company had paid a $90 million exit package to former exec Andy Rubin in 2014, even after an employee accused him of sexual misconduct.
According to the Times, Rubin was one of three high-ranking executives that Google protected ー and paid millions of dollars to ー over the past decade after accusations of sexual misconduct. One of the executives, David Drummond, has remained at the company and is now chief legal officer of Google’s parent company Alphabet ($GOOGL).
In a letter sent to employees Thursday afternoon obtained by CNBC, Pichai said the Times’ article “was difficult to read.” He went on to say that Google was “dead serious” about providing a “safe and inclusive workplace.”
He said the company had taken an “increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority” and had terminated 48 people as a result. “None of these individuals received an exit package,” he said.
In addition Pichai said Google would require vice presidents and senior vice presidents to “disclose any relationship with a co-worker regardless of reporting line or presence of conflict.”
The letter was co-signed by Eileen Naughton, Google's VP of people operations.
Pichai sent his letter to the staff shortly before Google announced third-quarter revenues, which came in below Wall Street expectations.